5 Winter Activities For Dogs
The temperatures are dropping fast outside. Even though most dogs enjoy being outside in cold weather, winter creates limitations to the amount of time you and your dog can spend exercising outdoors. Use these indoor activities to keep your dog healthy and happy when weather limits your time together outside.
- Sniff and Smell — Set up four to six opaque containers (bowls work well) upside-down next to each other. Without your dog seeing you, hide a treat under one of the containers. Encourage him/her to smell the containers and find the one with the treat. Toys work in place of treats as well. Let the dog smell the toy before you hide it to get its scent. Reward him/her with a quick throw and fetch of the toy when found.
- Hide and Seek — Show your dog a favorite toy and allow him/her time to sniff and get its scent. Hide the item then tell your dog “find it.” You may need to provide some help until he/she gets used to the game. Hide the item in a different room to increase the challenge. Make finding it a big deal!
- Obstacle Course — Set up two sturdy items with legs, like kitchen chairs, next to a soft item, like a pillow. Teach your dog to crawl under and around the sturdy object and jump over the soft object. Once he/she knows how to do each command (under, around, over) you can ask him/her to do different combinations. Other obstacle ideas are a box to crawl through, a hula hoop to jump through, and cones to navigate around. Make sure to reward your dog with lots of praise!
- Go Shopping — From big box to local, there are many retail and pet stores that allow well-behaved dogs. Take your time wandering up and down each aisle so your dog can use several senses and increase his/her mental activity.
- Spa Day — Create a spa day at home, go to a local do-it-yourself place, or use a full-service dog groomer to treat your dog to a bath, brushing, and nail trim.