Unless you’re an avid winter athlete, the cold and snowy months might be a difficult time to keep up with your dog’s exercise regimen. When everything freezes over, we tend to scale down the trips to the dog park and shorten our walks just a little.
However, dogs still need outdoor exercise. To keep your puppy in tip-top shape, try a few of these fun winter dog activities to make your trip outdoors a refreshing, energizing, and healthy excursion for you both.
A perfect game for hunting and retrieving dogs! If your pet has favorite toys that can tolerate outdoor weather (perhaps a brand new Christmas dog gift?), bring them to the yard or a local park. Tuck a few behind a tree or two, or just toss them into the fluffy snow. Your dog will love searching around, sniffing all the smells along the way, and finding those special favorites as treasure. Pure fun!
Play Fetch Outside in the Snow
Always a blast outdoors, but even more fun in winter, all you need is your fetch toy and some open space to run. Playing fetch in snow adds an extra fun factor to your usual game. Your dog gets optimal running exercise, and then at the end of the dash, gets to dig, dig, dig for the ball. All your dog will think is, “Best day ever!”
If you love to cross country ski, and your larger-sized dog loves to run, try skijoring. Popular in Alaska and Scandinavia, this exciting winter sport involves a person on skis being driven by one or more dogs. With a little bit of research and minimal equipment, skijoring can be fantastic exercise and bonding sport for both you and your dog.
Live in an area with a hill or two nearby? Take advantage of the landscape, and treat your dog to a unique winter adventure! Climb that hill together and when you get to the top, throw the ball, and let your dog chase the ball back down. When they bring the ball back, you can start the fun all over again. By the end of your activity, they’ll be tuckered out and ready for a long, toasty fireside nap.
We all know how dogs love to eat up snow. Now make it a game! When the snow is good for packing, head outside and make a pile of snowballs, then toss them in the air, or throw them farther to land deep in the snow. It’s a great game that inspires your dog to jump, run, dig, fetch, and chomp at the edible, airborne snowballs, getting some fresh air, sunshine and exercise all at the same time.
Importance of Winter Dog Activities
Getting outside in the winter is a must for you and your dog’s health, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Make sure you always have a few favorite games you both love no matter what the weather’s doing outside. It’s so much easier to get those boots on when you decide to play your way through the chilly months with winter dog activities.