The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t mean your dog wants to stay inside all season long. Dogs need physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. We understand that busy dogs are happy dogs, which is why Dog Thrive offers a climate-controlled indoor playground with tons of wild-and-wooly activities to keep even the most energetic dog busy. At home, you can do lots of fun things, too. Are you ready to get up from that fireside snooze? Adding just a few new activities into your routine will help your dog stay active, fit, and happy all winter long and strengthen your bond.
Top Winter Dog Activities with Your Dog
1. Walking in a winter wonderland
Dogs need physical activity to stay mentally and physically healthy. Your pup might enjoy more evenings curled up by the fireplace when the temps start dropping, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still enjoy a good hike out in the snow now and then. Not only will the change in scenery be fun, but your dog will also get to enjoy new smells and new sensations.
2. Puzzling puppy mazes
Dogs have curious minds and need regular mental stimulation. A winter spent indoors can be frustrating and might even lead to behavior issues, such as barking or chewing. Creating a fun snow maze with unexpected twists and turns will give your dog a little bit of fun and excitement. Unless you are in a secure area, make sure you keep your dog’s leash attached. Once your dog is comfortable running the maze, you can add in some nose work by lightly covering a few favorite treats or a brightly colored toy or two under the snow for your dog to discover.
3. Baking yummy cookies
While you might not want to let your dog go crazy in the kitchen, an afternoon of baking with your furry friend can be a fun way to warm up after a morning spent outdoors. Even better, you can get lots of fresh, homemade treats for both of you. Human treats aren’t necessarily good for pups, but there are lots of dog-friendly recipes that use ingredients you probably already have on hand. Try yummy peanut butter or pumpkin treats cut in cute, dog-friendly shapes.
4. Doing some downward dogs
After all that holiday baking, you might need to work off the extra calories. Doga, also known as dog yoga, is a fun workout for you and a great bonding exercise for your pup. Combine your workout, relaxation, and pup-friendly gathering all at once with a doga session near you.
5. Planning a puppy playdate
Snuggling in front of a fireplace and watching movies is fine to a point, but eventually, you’ll want to get outside again. There’s no better way to do that than with your dog’s BFF, and thankfully, this is even more fun in the wintertime. Each pup is likely to be raring to go after being cooped up. Instead of visiting the dog park, try Dog Thrive’s Dog Daycare. With lots of fun and interactive activities, such as ramps, tunnels, and risers, your pups will be ready to play all day.
Outside exercise spaces offer a fun change of scenery for more adventurous dogs while rubberized flooring protects sensitive joints from hard impacts. At Dog Thrive, your dog will be supervised at all times and grouped with friends of similar sizes and temperaments for maximum fun and safety. Our indoor playground is climate-controlled for those warm-weather-loving pups. Bring your furry friends on days they need a full day of fun and friendship, and we’ll help them get the zoomies out of their system in no time!
In between outings, you can try a few indoor dog activities to keep your dog busy during cold weather, including:
- Treat toys
- Food puzzles and slow feeders
- Indoor agility courses
- Obedience or other dog training courses
There are so many things to do with your dog during winter that you can try new enrichment options each week and keep your pup guessing. Which one will you try first?
Winter Dog Activities Safety Tips
When playing outside, you may need to take a few precautions to protect your dog’s health. Limit how much time is spent outdoors in freezing temperatures. Add a sweater and booties, if necessary, and keep a supply of fresh, clean water close at hand. Before coming back indoors, clean your dog’s paws of any snow, ice, or de-icer residue, which can be toxic. Older dogs may be less tolerant of cold temperatures.
Visit Dog Thrive today to learn more about fun winter dog activities or to schedule an all-day doggy daycare playdate for your pup.