When the temperature gets chilly, your dog may not be able to enjoy a sunny day at the park or the dog beach, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have fun. There are plenty of activities your furry friend can do indoors to stay entertained and exercised.
There are also many ways to include your dog in some snow day fun – but it is important to first know winter safety tips for pets. Here are some of the basics:
🐾In cold weather, only let your dog outside for short periods of time.
🐾Help your pup brave the cold by outfitting him in some booties and/or a sweater.
🐾Dogs will try to eat snow if they're dehydrated, but this can be dangerous because the snow may contain harmful chemicals, dirt, and salt. To prevent this from happening, make sure you always have fresh water available for your dog.
🐾After your dog plays, be sure to clean its paws and get rid of any de-icer residue. De-icer is toxic to dogs if ingested.
🐾If you have an older dog or a dog with arthritis, keep in mind that they may not be able to handle cold weather as well as other dogs.
🐾Cold weather can present unique dangers to our furry friends. If you have any concerns, speak with your veterinarian.
Here are some activities to help keep your pup happy and active during the chilly months.
A forest is a great place to take your dog for a walk. They'll love the new smells and sounds, and you'll both appreciate the change of scenery. There's plenty of science to support the benefits of time spent in nature for humans, from stress relief to better concentration to enhanced creativity. So it only makes sense that we extend those same benefits to our furry friends.
Unleash Your Pup's Inner Creative Side
Your dog will love getting creative with colorful, pup-safe washable paints. Simply spread out a tarp, lay down a piece of poster board or canvas, and let your dog express himself through his artwork. Use either pet-safe paint or an inkpad on your dog's paws. After he finishes his masterpiece, make sure to clean his paws entirely.
Wintertime is the perfect season to spend in the kitchen with your furry friend by your side. Head over to Nuestapets.com where you'll find our yummy faves, like our DIY Puppuccino and DIY Dog Nog (a festive treat for the holidays). An afternoon nap is a perfect way to end a meal for your pup, who will wake up with a full belly and a smile.
When it snows, skijoring is the best way to spend your day. It's a cross between cross-country skiing and dog sledding, and it's also the best dog sport you've probably never heard of. After outfitting your dog with a harness and clipping into your skis, you can let them lead the way as you glide along behind. Skijoring is primarily for medium to large athletic dogs.
Do 'Downward Dog' With Your Dog
If you're looking for a way to relax and meditate with your dog, then dog yoga may be for you. Doga, as it's called, is a great way to incorporate your dog into your relaxation and meditative practices. Some yoga studios offer regular doga classes that allow pups and their owners to work on a few poses while bonding with each other, or you can practice doga in the comfort of your own home.
Even though it's cold outside and there is snow on the ground, that doesn't mean your dog doesn't want to play fetch with you. Incorporate a brightly colored toy or ball into playtime so he doesn't become frustrated searching for it in the snow. It's also a great way for both of you to get some fresh air and exercise.
With Nuesta Pets hypoallergenic pet wipes, cleaning your pup's paws after their creative endeavor will be quick and easy. They are 50% bigger than other brands, so you'll only need one (or two if your fur baby got extra creative). Our unique, pH-balanced formula actually breaks down and destroys odors while moisturizing.
Snuggle Up With a Movie
Indulge your pup with a dog bone or four and get cozy in front of the TV for a doggie movie marathon. There's no better way to spend a cold evening than by watching a few canine classics with your furry best friend.
Make Him Work for His Food
Feeding your dog can be a great way to relieve both mental and physical energy. Try giving him a little mental challenge at mealtime, rather than just plunking down a bowl of food. Working a dog’s mind can tire him out just as much as taking him for a long walk, if not more.
These are a great way to give your pup’s brain a workout. By challenging your dog to figure out how to get the treats, these toys help keep your pet mentally stimulated and engaged. This is especially important for older dogs or those who live relatively sedentary lifestyles.
Another way to give your dog a mental workout is with these specially-designed bowls that look more like mazes. They will keep your pup’s brain engaged while eating, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Dogs will not only have more fun eating this way, but it is also healthier for them to eat slowly instead of scarfing down their food in 30 seconds!
Want to keep it simple?
You can help your dog get stimulation and be challenged by simply hiding a few treats around the house for him to sniff out, or by placing his food in a different location at mealtimes and encouraging him to find it.
Bring the Fun Inside
You don't have to frolic in the snow in order to give your dog some much-needed exercise. There are plenty of other ways to get him moving without setting paw outside.
Hide and seek.
Other than for food, your dog will love searching to find you. While she's distracted looking for the treat you tossed in the other room, hide somewhere else and see how long it takes her to find you.
If you want to get your blood flowing and have a bit of fun, try running up and down the stairs with your dog. If climbing isn't your thing, simply toss a toy up the stair for her to chase after. Keep in mind though that this activity may not be suitable for older dogs or ones with joint issues.
Fetch can be enjoyable for dogs even if you're indoors! If you have a long hallway or some spacious rooms in your house, grab your dog's favorite toy and play together for a while. Just make sure to remove any valuables that could get knocked over by an enthusiastic pup first!
It may come as a surprise to some, but many dogs love bubbles! Just be sure to use a pet-safe solution.
Create an indoor agility course.
With a few common household objects, you can turn your living room into an agility course for your dog. Using chairs, blankets, broomsticks, and hula hoops, you can create a course and then spend time training your dog to navigate it. Whatever you set up, make sure it's stable enough that your pup won't be able to knock it over while exploring their way through it.
Take a class.
Wintertime may have you feeling down, but there's no need to worry! There are plenty of activities available for both you and your dog to enjoy. In your area, look for things like agility classes, flyball, doga or even doggie swimming pools!
Taking your dog out for a winter walk is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, even when the weather isn't ideal. Bundle up and hit the trails with your furry friend for a fun outdoor adventure. If you're looking for something a little different, consider one of the options we've mentioned above. No matter what you choose to do, just make sure to keep your dog safe and warm on those chilly days. Happy festive frolics and Happy Holidays!❄️