5 Cold Weather Activities for You and Your Pup

Beagle Runs In The Snow; cold weather dog fun

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t have fun! Cold weather can make dog activities a bit more challenging; but there are still several ways to have fun with your dog and help him burn off some energy.

Dogs need to explore and run even when it’s cold out. Fun winter activities provide the perfect opportunity for your dog to do that. They will keep your dog happy and healthy throughout winter. They’ll also provide fun ways for the two of you to spend time together! While staying inside, curled up with blankets on the couch, is a great way to spend part of winter, there’s no reason to stay locked up inside all winter long. Winter adventures are easy to have and perfectly safe, so long as you remember the safety basics and limit your dog’s exposure to the elements.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

Before we explore the snowy fun you can have with your pup this season, we have provided a list of winter safety tips you should know before you embark on your winter adventures.

  • Limit your dog’s time outdoors during cold weather. Winter weather is fine in small doses, but prolonged exposure can cause health issues to arise.
  • Consider dressing your pup in booties and a sweater or jacket before going outdoors. This is especially important if your dog doesn’t have thick or long fur.
  • Always provide fresh water for your pup throughout the day, so he isn’t tempted to seek hydration from eating snow.
  • After playing outdoors, remove any de-icer residue that might be on your dogs paws. This is toxic to your furry friend.
  • Be extra cautious with elderly dogs or dogs with arthritis. The cold weather is especially uncomfortable for them.

Play Fetch in the Snow

Fetch is a great way to spend quality time together and allow your dog to burn off energy. It’s a favorite activity among dog owners since it’s both physically and mentally stimulating for your pup. When playing fetch in the snow, use bright-colored discs or balls so it’s easy for your dog to spot. Playing in the snow is a safe and fun way to spend the afternoon, but avoid playing near ice. Your dog could slip and fall, causing significant injury.

Visit an Indoor Dog Park

There are always a few days during the winter months that are simply too cold for a trip to an outdoor dog park. During these particularly grueling days, check online for local indoor dog parks. They’re becoming increasingly popular, so the chances of finding one are good. Indoor dog parks provide your pup with same amount of fun he’s grown accustomed to at outdoor dog parks, while keeping him safe from blizzard-like weather. If you can’t find an indoor dog park close enough to you, consider taking your dog for a social afternoon at a day care or signing up for a training course. This new adventure can be a special treat for your pup and a great way for him to make new friends.

Go Skijoring

If you love to ski and your dog loves to run, this is the perfect winter activity for the two of you to enjoy together. Skijoring is cross-country skiing with a little help from your furry friend. Gather your skis, and connect your dog with a long line from you to his harness. It might sound a little intense or complicated when first learning, but most dogs get it pretty quickly. Start off small, and teach your dog the commands for turning and stopping before attempting any long distances. Once you feel comfortable in your dog’s abilities to lead you successfully, it’s time to embark on an epic adventure that will bring both of you unending amounts of joy.

Build a Snow Maze

Snow mazes have become increasing popular since dog owners began sharing videos of their dogs happily rushing through homemade courses on social media. It’s easy to make a wintry maze for your dog. All you need is a yard, snow, and a shovel. Simply create narrow pathways for your dog, and connect them in fun patterns. Once your maze is complete, release your dog. Make sure you have your camera handy, as it will make a great video. Snow mazes, like fetch, stimulate both your dog’s mind and body and are a great way for him to burn off excess energy. To keep your dog safe, make sure your snow maze is in a fenced-in area, otherwise assist your dog through the maze with him on a leash. Don’t forget to reward your pup with a treat once he’s found the exit.

Go for a Walk

It’s a classic for a reason. We all know the joy that lights up a dog’s eyes when we utter the phrase, “Do you want to go for a walk?” That joy is the same whether it’s sunny and warm or snowy and cold. If you and your pup enjoy daily walks, you don’t have to give them up when the weather shifts. In fact, exploring your neighborhood in the winter can be even more exciting than it is in the summer. Everything seems a touch more magical when it’s snowy, and you can take this time to admire your neighbor’s Christmas decorations.

Still, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure your dog remains safe and happy during winter walks. Consider going on shorter walks more frequently throughout the day instead of one long walk. This will help limit his exposure to the elements. Watch your dog closely during these winter walks; if you notice him start to shiver, it’s time to take him indoors. For added warmth and protection, dress your dog in a small sweater, jacket, or boots before stepping outside.

At Tipp City Veterinary Hospital, we are familiar with the challenges you, as a dog owner, face during the winter months. We are happy to assist with any questions or concerns you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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I revisited Tipp Vet after a long stint with my previous vet that ended in me just not feeling comfortable with the level of care my two small breeds were receiving. I definitely don’t feel this way here. They are exceptionally understanding and helpful with all of my concerns, and Dr. Ken even provided me with his email once so that he could help me further understand some test results he had given me. They are very understanding with my small adopted dog that needs to be muzzled when I bring him to them. They work very slowly with him during his visits and keep me updated on his progress there. I can’t recommend them enough!

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