8 Winter Activities To Enjoy With Your Dog

While we don’t always get snow here in Georgia, we still get the cold, frigid weather each year. During these winter months, it’s still important to make sure your dog is getting the mental stimulation and the physical activity he needs. If you’re looking for fun winter activities to enjoy with your dogs – both indoors and outdoors, as well as with and without snow – look no more!

Walking/Hiking Outside

Maintaining a daily walking schedule with your dog is important not only for our dogs but also us humans! Even if it’s cold outside, going for a walk every day is still one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy. Because of the cold weather, you may not be able to walk quite as far as you normally would, however, you can mix up your walks by switching the route, taking a new path, or visiting a different part of your neighborhood. 

Since dogs love to explore unfamiliar places, you could also consider taking him on a short hike.  Allowing your dog to smell in the woods and around trees helps him to relax and enjoy nature. 

However, you should always watch your dog carefully for signs he is too cold, and be prepared to end the walk or hike if you notice him shivering or shaking. Also, older and arthritic dogs may not be as tolerant to walking in the cold as they normally would in warmer weather.

Backyard Snow Maze

Not only will your dog get plenty of exercise running through the maze, he will also receive mental stimulation from trying to find his way out of the maze. To make a snow maze (obviously, you need snow to do this), simply create narrow paths in your fenced yard with a snow shovel. You can connect all the pathways in fun and winding fashions. Once you have your maze created, release your dog and watch him navigate his way through. 

Shopping Trip

There are many local stores that are now dog friendly. Taking him shopping will not only allow him to get out of the house, but also allow a little exercise by walking the aisles and gives him a chance to smell the unfamiliar surroundings. Taking your pooch on a short car ride to go shopping can be a fun outing and a great way to prevent cabin fever. 

Playing In The Snow

If done in moderation, playing fetch in the snow provides both mental and physical stimulation for your dog. Use a bright-colored ball that will be easy to find in the snow. You can even throw snowballs for him, and watch as he tries to retrieve the snowball! 

If your dog enjoys digging, encourage him to dig in the snow to burn energy. You can bury treats in the snow for him to retrieve, which adds an additional challenge.

Bake and Hide Dog Treats

You can make your own healthy dog treats as part of an engaging hide-and-seek game for your dog. Simply hide several of them around the house, luring your dog to the first hiding spot, and watch your dog go! Dog snacks are the perfect way to reward your dog for learning new tricks and skills.

Inside Agility Course

Setting up an inside agility course for your dog allows for some inside fun and exercise. You can set up the course by using hula hoops, blankets, tunnels and small chairs for climbing. Just be sure whatever you use to set up the agility course is sturdy enough that it won’t be knocked down as your dog works his way through the course.

Inside Fetch/Stair Climbing

If your house is conducive to having a long hallway or spacious rooms, there’s no reason you can’t toss his favorite toy and have him fetch it for you. Or, if you have a staircase, throwing the toy back and forth on the stairs is a good way for him to get extra exercise. You can even join your dog up and down the stairs for an additional workout for yourself!

Indoor Training

Your dog always wants to spend time with you, so why not take some time during the winter to work on basic training skills or teach him a new trick or command? Teaching new skills and commands will keep his mind active while also allowing him to spend more time with you. Even if your dog isn’t getting time outside, at least he’s inside being challenged and being active.

As easy as it may be to allow your dog to become a couch potato and hibernate all winter, it’s so important to his health to maintain a physically and mentally active lifestyle during the winter. Staying active in the winter months is a great way for both you and your dog to stay in shape as well as strengthen your bond. 




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