Top winter activities to enjoy with your dog
The days are getting shorter as the nights grow longer. Trees have shed their leafy crowns, and many of us crave the warmth and comfort of a cozy blanket and toasty hearthside. Some even struggle with the decreased light and increased solitude, which boosts the incidence of depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Dogs might not experience SAD, but they, too, can become listless and less active during the winter months, which can increase their own risk of anxiety, weight gain, and behavior issues. Keeping your furry family member active, engaged, and happy even when it’s cold outside can be beneficial to both of you. Try one or all of these winter activities for dogs the next time the mercury drops!
Go for a walk
Walks are good for dogs regardless of the time of year. In the winter, your dog might enjoy the brisk winter temperatures and the feel of falling snow. If snow or ice covers the ground, add protective waterproof and skid-proof dog booties for safety and follow your dog’s lead about how much time they want to spend outdoors. If your pup has any pre-existing health conditions, talk to their vet to keep them fit without risking their wellbeing.
Dogs love sniffing. Engaging their nose can help them stay mentally active, and when walks are incorporated, it boosts physical activity levels, too. Any snow or other precipitation in the environment can offer a new and exciting change, so don’t cross nose work off the list just because you’ve got a few inches of fresh powder on the ground!
Remember how fun sledding is? Children tend to love that long, slippery slide down a snowy hill, but dogs do, too. Find a dog-friendly sledding spot, and load up your sled, letting your pup chase you all the way down. While dogs can and do like sledding, too, riding a sled might not be the safest activity for them, so encourage them to keep their paws on the snow. If you’ve got a herding breed, keep an eye on them so they don’t get overly stimulated during this fun activity.
You can set up a scavenger hunt right in your backyard. An exciting hide-and-seek adventure for your pup, this activity works well even in the snow. Simply dig out tiny holes or shallow depressions in the snow to hide small surprises for your dog. Toys, treats, and chews are all great options. They will need to see and smell the treats and then find them in their hiding spots. If you’ve got an advanced scavenger hunter pup or a snow lover, try burying the surprises to get your pup’s sense of adventure pumping.
Outside activities are grand, but some furry family members prefer to stay inside where it’s warm and cozy. If your dog is one of them, this is a great time of year to practice new tricks, play hide-and-seek, or set up an indoor obstacle course. Your dog will enjoy the activities, and you’ll get a bonus bonding boost.
Ready to get started?
No matter what you do, remember to keep winter activities for dogs light and fun, and if the weather gets too bad to play outdoors, Playful Pack is always right here waiting to welcome our furry friends. Our daycare facilities offer ample opportunities for fun, socialization, and exercise. Give us a call today to schedule your pup’s temperament test, and they’ll get to stay for a full day of play care!