11 Fun Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained in the Winter
Like other physical hobbies, wintertime activities for dogs are beneficial as they provide mental and physical stimulation.” Both you and your pet friend benefit from being active. It also helps to maintain healthy digestion and strengthen immunity. Regular outside time “has benefits for both physical and psychological human wellbeing,” according to the American Psychological Association. For dogs, it offers regular exercise (calculate how much your dog needs based on size), and going outside to explore brings new sights, sounds, and scents that provide significant enrichment and communication opportunities. (Yes, even the putrid stuff.) By doing this, she can prevent boredom and destructiveness when she returns inside.
Wintertime Outdoor Activities Your Dogs Will Love
This winter, you and your dog can do so much to avoid cabin fever that doesn’t have to include being indoors. Grab the leash, put on those four tiny snow booties, and explore! Tamtampetcare has put together some suggestions for you to try.
She will try everything once as long as you play in the snow with her, of course, but you’re the best judge of what your dog will enjoy. An extra perk: Unless you’re focused on a particular canine sport, you usually only need a little dog winter clothing to start with your cold-weather breed.
As per Kelley, “hiking is a great exercise for dogs.” “Being able to sniff in the woods and around trees helps relax them with natural smells they can understand.” Some dogs are avid winter hikers and naturally adept at trekking, while others gain confidence via an increased frequency of walks.
Though visiting a nearby national park is one of the best things to do in the US’s great outdoors, smaller city parks are still excellent for an afternoon stroll! Take a long weekend and hit the trails—the larger parks might require a little road journey, depending on where you are.
State parks that are easier to get to but have enough to smell are as stunning. Check the rules about dog-friendly locations before you leash up and head out on your park adventure to avoid getting caught barking up the wrong tree.
Skijoring or Dog Skiing
Dog skiing is a popular activity among outdoor enthusiasts who own energetic breeds. This is one of the most well-liked winter dog sports; it’s also called skijoring. If you’ve ever done cross-country skiing, you and your agile dog may venture outside for exhilarating laps around the countryside. You wear skis and are pulled through the snow by your harnessed dog(s). It’s like a cross between skiing and a dog sled. While it’s evident that sled dogs like huskies and malamutes enjoy this sport more than other breeds, skijoring is very popular with giant, energetic dogs! If your pet will be outside in the cold for an extended period, consider wrapping them with coats and booties.
Don’t bother with fetch; your dog will enjoy pursuing you down a sledding hill. “Humans move so slow that it’s a novel run when you can fly down a hill with your dog in tow,” Kelley explains. “Just watch out for nipping in herding breeds.” Furthermore, unless you have a squad of trained sled dogs, he doesn’t advise doing so, no matter how cute it may be to witness an intelligent dog pulling a sled.
A large hill covered in fresh powder or snowball retrieve appeals to dogs (who are skilled at off-leash recall)! Some pups like sledding down a hill on their bellies, while some, like their humans, prefer to ride down hills on sleds. Make sure they wear a GPS collar, have a chip in them, or are wearing a collar with an updated ID tag. They should also avoid sledding in populated locations where they can run into an unwary person. Also, avoid consuming the yellow snow!
Take a Shopping Adventure
While many human establishments allow dogs to browse, a trip to the pet store is naturally entire of new butts to sniff (dogs, that is; please refrain from sniffing other customers’ buttocks) and delicious delicacies to examine on low shelves.
Toy Pull-Out Battle
Dynamo Doggo, full of life, is in this corner. You, still in your pajamas, in the other corner. And outdoors, it’s disgusting. Thus, a robust dog rope tug toy is a first step toward parity. On this one, your dog seems to be playing by himself at times. But so that he knows he has your attention, let him get his paws dirty by gently moving him side to side or back and forth.
Make some homemade snacks for your dog to enjoy
You may find a wide variety of homemade dog treat recipes online. Making handmade goodies for your dog is a beautiful way to express your affection for them and to keep them occupied.
Snacks are the ideal way to celebrate mastering new techniques and abilities, and when you bake your own, you have complete control over the safe, wholesome components that go into your cuisine. These veterinarian-approved Peanut Butter Banana Grain snacks are seen above. Ahh. Snacks such as these can also be used to create a fun hide-and-seek game. Just hide a handful in locations your dog is accustomed to throughout the house. Let the mad hunt start by using one treat as a lure to the initial hiding place.
And what better way to show your forkball your appreciation than by keeping her occupied with another enjoyable winter activity? Make some Valentine’s Day treats at home.
Practice your fundamental skills
Keeping your dog entertained and mentally engaged can be achieved by teaching them new tricks. Additionally, it helps you develop a stronger bond and earn your dog’s confidence. Work your way up to more complex tricks gradually by beginning with easier ones like sit, stay, and come. Working on fundamental training techniques instead of “playtime” seems a little shady. However, years of benefits accrue from regular training.
“If your dog likes to dig, encouraging them to dig in the snow can be a great way to burn energy,” he continues. Kicking around in the snow is enjoyable and fulfilling. In addition, your dog can play fetch in the same snow or feel proud of themselves for clearing a large mound.” Sadly, you’ll have to construct a snow fort or allow your dog to roll a giant snowball.
Anytime they get the chance to enjoy some wintertime activities, Kelley goes on adventures with Vista, his red Doberman pinscher. As she waits for Kelley to toss the snowball so she can jump and eat it, Vista is watching Kelley’s other hand closely in this picture.
Not only is winter camping with your dog a great way to strengthen your friendship, but it’s also highly Instagrammable. Imagine this: Following a strenuous hike, the two of you return to the campground to relax by the fire and take in the sounds of the surrounding wildlife. What a wonderful time. Furthermore, according to Kelley, “This is a unique kind of thrill. Your dog would have to stay warm in a tent throughout the winter if he wasn’t already cuddly.” Just be careful not to venture outside during extremely hazardous winter conditions.
Take Your Dog Along to Yoga Classes
You already know how this one will go if you’ve ever tried exercising with your dog present. Expect an hour of 90% humor and 10% Zen, but it will be 100% enjoyable for your dog! You may discover a local in-person class, but if not, you can always attempt to enroll in an online course from the comfort of your home.
Utilize treat puzzles to keep your dog occupied
Our dogs require some mind-bending alone activities unless they’re currently engaged in anything. While humans have many screen-based entertainment options for when we’re bored, our dogs need their own time. Though Nina Ottosson’s treat puzzles vary in difficulty based on your dog’s puzzle-solving abilities, you can always go for something easy and satisfying, such as treats in a toy like the Super Chewer Summit or frozen peanut butter.