Having a dog is proven to increase your health. Part of that is simply because it’s hard to say no to your dog when they are ready to hit the outdoors.
But what do you do when the temperature drops outside? What are activities to do with dogs in the winter? You need some way to keep your dog from boredom, otherwise, they can turn to destructive behaviors. Today we’ll be looking at the top seven activities to do with dogs in the winter.
Top Seven Activities to Do with Dogs in The Winter
1. Take a Winter Hike
The outdoors is beautiful, and it’s none more breathtaking than when covered with a fresh layer of snow. Take the time to enjoy the beauty that winter has to offer by going for a nice hike with your friend. Just make sure you take the proper precautions.
2. Take a Trip to an Indoor Dog Park
If your dog is not quite the outdoorsy type, take them out to an indoor dog park. This will give your dog a chance to stretch their legs and get some much-needed socialization time with others.
3. Play Fetch
Fetch is a great game to teach your dog. It allows for a burst of exercise, and you can even do it indoors. If your dog is too big to play inside, be sure you use a brightly colored ball that will stick out against the snow. Be sure you also take breaks to check on how your dog is doing in the cold.
4. Head to the Pet Store
If you’re just looking to get out of the house, a trip to the pet store might be in order. Most pet supply stores allow you to bring your pets with you to visit. This can get your dog out of the same scenery each day, and they’ll maybe even make a new friend.
5. Visit a Friend
Again, a change of scenery is always nice. This is especially the case if you’re going stir crazy. If you have another friend or family member who is dog-friendly, you can take turns going there or hosting. This gives your dog a change, and company is always nice to have.
6. Back to School
Winter is a great time to try out some new tricks. Give your dog the mental exercise they need by trying something new with them. Also, you can consider enrolling them in obedience training.
7. Go on a Vacation
As a last-ditch effort, try to escape the cold. If you can swing it, hit the road with your dog and give both of you a break. You should be able to find many dog-friendly hotels to host your trip.
Things to Remember for Winter Play
While our first thoughts might go toward dogs frolicking in freshly fallen snow, remember that your dog might not be built for the snow. Most cold-loving dogs are on the larger side. These might include:
- Alaskan Malamute
- Siberian Husky
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Chow Chow
Not that these are the only cold-loving dogs, but these ones are used to the cold. Other dogs that are not from cold climates will need a helping hand to tackle the cold.
Frostbite and hypothermia are very real for pets as much as for people. Dogs who have thin coats can be given a winter coat specially designed for dogs. There are even dog shoes to keep their paws warm and dry. Do what you can to ensure your dog has the protection they need if you are going to be out in freezing temperatures.
Keeping the Home Comfortable
If you deck your dog out in all the protective gear when you head outside, what else are you going to do in the house for them?
Oftentimes, our homes are much colder in the winter than in the summer. Whether this is due to poor insulation, or just trying to save a few bucks on our heating bills, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is everyone’s comfort, your dog included. During the winter, remember to take extra precautions.
Watch the Heat
Oftentimes, if your dog is cold, they will figure out where the warmest spots are. This means that your dog might start hanging out around the vents of your heat system. Even worse, if you run a space heater or wood stove, be sure you keep your dog away from these heat sources as they can be burned by the intense heat.
Humidify the Air
Not only does a bit of humidity make the cold a bit more tolerable, it also robs your skin from needed moisture. The same goes for your dog. If you have a whole-house humidifier, be sure it’s set to the proper level. This can save you and your dog from dry skin. A dog with dry skin can get flaky and sensitive. Even worse, your dog can start scratching excessively which can lead to even worse problems.
During the winter, the floor is usually the coldest part of the house. If your dog sleeps on the floor be sure to throw them a couple more blankets. Even better, you can get them a bed that raises them off the ground. This will allow a warmer air gap between them and the floor