7 WAYS TO STAY ACTIVE (AND SAFE) WITH YOUR DOG IN THE WINTER

While some people and dogs embrace winter, others don’t. Some would rather curl up inside by the warm fire and dream of summer. But no matter which camp you and your dog fall into, you can’t very ignore the necessity of going outside at least a few times a day.

Even if you keep your outings shorter than usual, your dog still needs the mental stimulation that comes with exercise and fun activities.

Here are 7 tips to stay active with your dog during winter.

stay active with your dog in winter

1. ASSESS YOUR DOG’S TOLERANCE LEVELS

Some dogs LOVE winter – Alaskan malamutes and huskies come to mind. These dogs were bred to be out in the snow for long periods of time. But for the non-Alaskan breeds, it’s a different matter. Short haired dogs will do well with a coat and maybe booties for their feet to protect their paws and keep their walks on the shorter side. Check out these 5 Wintertime Dog Safety Tips.

2. CLEAN THEIR PAWS

If you live in a snowy climate, your dog might step in de-icing chemicals. If you don’t clean their paws when you come inside, they will. With their tongue. These chemicals can be harmful so wipe their paws with a damp towel or have them step in a pan of water when they come inside. It’s like a mini-paw bath.  

stay active with your dog in winter

3. SET UP PLAY DATES

Small dogs can play together inside and any time while larger dogs will need an enclosed yard. Either way, it’s good to have doggie play dates for socialization and to burn off excess energy. If possible, set up a semi-regular get-together with a friend who has a dog that your dog likes and let them play together.

4. INDOOR DOG PARKS

Some cities have created indoor dog parks free from snow and ice. Some of them are pretty elaborate offering squash courts and spa therapies for humans while the pups play separately. Others are doggie day care programs where you can drop your dog for the day and they can play with the pooches. 

stay safe with your dog in winter

5. TEACH YOUR DOG A NEW TRICK

From rolling over to balancing a treat on the nose, dogs love learning tricks. The bonus is, the more time you spend together actively engaging, the stronger your bond, which means they’ll pay more attention to you.

6. PLAY GAMES INSIDE

Have you ever thought about playing a version of the shell game but with dog treats? The Humane Society has suggestions like this to help you keep your dog’s brain engaged. Also, doggie puzzles and toys with treats inside are classic favorites that help keep your dog occupied.

dog games dog brick

7. SNOWBALL FIGHTS!

Got a lot of a snow and a dog who likes to fetch? Then pack some snowballs a throw them for Rex!

As you can see, with a little creativity, you can help your dog stay active this winter.  While age, size, and temperament all play a role in how much physical exercise your dog needs, all dogs need mental stimulation.

Written by Jen Phillips April