Want to learn how to entertain dogs in winter?
You’ve come to the right place!
Winter blues can put a damper on your dog’s usual excited self. Thankfully, there are a lot of fun activities you and your dog can do to keep your dog from going stir-crazy.
Here are some of our best suggestions to get your dog up and excited again!
Wondering how do you keep a dog entertained when bored? Especially when you’re stuck indoors waiting out a snowstorm?
Try playing hide-and-seek!
Let a family member hold the dog or command your dog to stay while you go and hide. Then call out their name occasionally until they find you.
Reward your pup with treats to get them excited!
If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, grab some snow booties and take your dog for a hike to a nearby national park.
It’ll be a great way to get some exercise, and the beautiful sights will keep both of you entertained. But, before heading out, make sure to check the park guidelines about bringing dogs.
If you don’t have a hiking trail nearby, then you can simply go out for a walk on a cleared path.
But can dogs walk on snow?
Yes! But to prevent discomfort, it is best to protect their feet with dog snow boots. Most dogs also love playing in the snow.
“My dog digs her nose under it and throws it up in the air… then tries to catch it. She plays with the snow”, says Bethann Siviter says about her dogs’ fascination with snow.
Indoor dog parks are the perfect solution for fun things to do with dogs during the winter. Especially when you’ve got little space at home and the outdoor weather is too hostile.
It also allows your dog to make new friends and provides them with plenty of play opportunities.
The perfect game to play both indoors and outdoors, playing fetch is an excellent way to get your dog some exercise while you rest.
If you have a big living room or hallway, you can keep your dog occupied while you go about your other leisurely activities.
If you’re heading out, make sure to bring a brightly colored frisbee or ball that doesn’t get lost in the snow. And find a fenced area where you can keep an eye on your dog in the snow.
If you’re searching the internet for ‘how do I entertain my dog in the winter?’, here’s a fun idea.
Find a virtual yoga class and whip out an extra yoga mat for your dog!
Your dog’s attempts will lighten the mood and also allow you to stretch out the winter laziness.
A snow maze is one of the best snow activities to try when the sky is clear and the ground is hidden under layers of snow.
You can build one using a snow shovel and keep it dog-sized. The maze will provide your dog with both mental stimulation and physical exercise.
Can dogs play in the snow maze?
Just ensure the maze is in a fenced area so that your dog doesn’t get away, or simply keep the leash on.
Sledding with your dogs tops the list of fun snow dog games.
You can take turns riding or pulling on the sled, depending on how quickly your dog understands the task.
Some dogs prefer to ride on their bellies, but it might not be safe at all times. Make sure you take them out when it’s not too crowded and they’re bored at home.
If you’re questioning, do dogs get bored in winter, they do. There are also some simple ways to recognize the signs.
Dogs, like their human counterparts, are prone to feel bored sometimes. Spending the colder months indoors can certainly make dogs more bored than usual.
Snow sledding makes for the perfect activity to enjoy on one such boring day.
Wondering how do you lift a dog’s moodwhen they’re cold?
Cuddling in front of the fire or TV while watching a dog film is the best option. Especially if you don’t like your dog playing in snow.
Here’s what Dr. Lauren Cohn, practice owner and veterinarian at Fishtown Animal Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania reminds pet owners, has to say:
“Some dogs, unless it’s legitimately hot out, will be cold in temps that are a little higher or lower. Pay attention to their cues—if they are dragging you home, refusing to walk or shivering, it may be too cold for them.”
If that’s also the case with your dog, just cozy up with your pup and enjoy a relaxing day.
If the pressing question on your mind is, “how do I mentally stimulate my dog in winter?” then give treat puzzles a go.
“These kinds of mental games help wake up areas of the brain that have been inactive”, says Leticia Fanucchi, DVM, veterinarian, and clinical instructor at Washington State University in Pullman.
Use their favorite treats in these puzzles to stimulate both their cognitive skills and their appetite.
You can also try to feed them some healthy homemade treats instead, but ensure you’re using safe ingredients. You can start researching ingredients by looking up queries like “Is Cabbage Safe for Dogs?”
Indoor obstacle races are ideal when outdoor activities with dogs are a no-go.
You can keep treats on hand to encourage your pup.
While there’s no limit to what items you can use, make sure to keep your dog’s size, ability, and safety in mind.
Before you go ahead and try suggestions on how to entertain dogs in winter, take these dog safety precautions:
- Dress your dog in a sweater and boots when going out.
- Leash your pets and keep their ID tags up-to-date.
- Bring plenty of fresh water to keep your dog hydrated.
- Avoid spending too much time outdoors.
- Clean your dog’s paws when entering indoors.
- Don’t let your dogs eat the snow.
If your dog has arthritis or other medical conditions, then going out in the cold weather may not be the best thing for them. Remember to consult with a veterinarian first and follow their advice.
There’s no reason for your dog to get bored just because it’s winter. As long as you ensure your dog is warm and protected, the cold or snow shouldn’t be an obstacle but an opportunity!
While there are many solutions for how to entertain dogs in winter, these are some of the safest for all dog types. Make sure to try all kinds of indoor and outdoor workouts to give them proper physical and mental stimulation. Have a warm and fun winter!