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February 12, 2018

Beating The Winter Blues - 15 Fun Things To Do With Your Dog

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Are the winter blues getting you down? Are you running out of ideas for keeping your dog engaged (and out of trouble)? Check out this list of fifteen fun things to do with your dog when the weather isn’t cooperating.

 

1. Take a walk.

If it’s super cold where you are, taking a short, brisk walk with your pup will help invigorate you both. Throw on some boots, and a snowsuit if necessary (good for keeping pesky snowballs out of your dog’s fur) and strike out! If the weather is milder, extend your walk a bit to help your dog (and you) shake off some of that cabin fever. For smaller dog pet parents, strollers are available to allow you to go on that morning run with your pup, even if your pup isn’t up for lots of exercise.

 

2. Find an indoor playground. 

If the snow’s too high to enjoy the outdoor dog park, see if you can’t find some indoor options in your area. Most large cities tend to have at least a couple of options and you could make some new dog parent friends, as well! Be sure to call ahead to confirm things like: possible fees, breed restrictions, hours of operation. Some indoor dog parks double as dog daycares and they may only have certain “recess” times.

 

3. Try skijoring.

(Don’t worry, we had to look it up, too.) Based off the Norwegian word skikjøring, which means ski driving, skijoring is a winter sport where a person is pulled on skis by a dog (or dogs), other animals (like horses), or even motor vehicles. This is a fun activity if you have a larger dog with a thick coat who would rather roll in the snow than be indoors any day. There are harnesses available that are specifically created for skijoring. This sport can be a lot of fun but make sure you bring plenty of water for you and your pup.

 

4. Watch a movie with your dog.

Not up for long cross-country treks? Why don’t you and your dog curl up with come cocoa for you, a bully stick for your pup, and a fun movie about dogs? Plenty of animated and live action dog movies exist – everything from tear-jerkers that will have you clinging to your dog and sobbing in to his or her fur *coughOldYellercough* all the way to hilarious comedies that will leave you in stitches.

 

5. Grab a bite to eat.

Research pet-friendly restaurants in your area and treat your dog to a lunch date. Can’t find a pet-friendly people restaurant nearby? Perhaps there is a local pet bakery you can visit instead. Let your dog press his nose to the display case glass and indulge in lots of fun doggy smells! No pet bakeries nearby? Try your hand at doggy baking at home. There are lots of sites with recipes for nutritional, DIY dog treats.

 

6. Have a photoshoot.

Valentine’s Day items are already on sale and Easter displays are going up. Snag some fun props and take pictures of your pup. Anything from silly selfies to serious photography can be a blast for both of you. If you have a new camera (or camera phone), what better way to test out all of the features than getting some action shots of your dog. Share them with your friends and followers and watch your pup become internet famous!

 

7. Give your dog some puzzle challenges.

We have a number of new puzzle toys available for dogs. Snag a couple for your pup and work on his or her cognitive skills. It can give you a lot of insight into how your dog’s thought processes work to watch him or her try to figure out a new toy.

 

8. Work on your dog’s training.

Whether indoors or outdoors, there are always things you can do to further your dog’s training – be it obedience training or agility training. Set up an indoor obstacle course for your dog to go through. Practice sit and stay drills. Depending on what you’re working on, you don’t necessarily need a ton of space to practice some or all of your pup’s commands.

 

9. Schedule a playdate.

If you’re climbing the walls from boredom, chances are your other pet parent friends are, too. Call up some friends and schedule a doggy playdate. Whether you want to host it at your home or just have a meetup at the local dog park, time spent socializing can help both you and your dog.

 

10. Go shopping.

Depending on where you live, there could be a number of pet-friendly shops in your area. With a little bit of pre-planning, you and your pup can have a casual day of shopping together, perhaps followed up by that pet-friendly restaurant you found.

 

11. Treat your dog to a spa day.

Once you’ve decided which day you’re going shopping and which shops allow dogs, perhaps find a spa close-by and schedule some pampering for your pet.  A bath and a trim can have your pet looking and smelling fresh and ready to tackle the world!

 

12. Plan a getaway.

Is the cold bringing you both down? Plan a weekend getaway for you and your dog. Find a pet-friendly hotel or pack a tent and set off. You could head to the beach, head into the mountains, take a trip to the city – the world is your oyster! Just make sure you pack the proper essentials for your dog – sturdy leash, updated tags, food and water dishes, and maybe a favorite toy from home.

 

13. Take a drive.

If you can’t really take the time off right now, at least go for a drive. Take your pup and get lost on the backroads. Roll the windows down. Sing along to the radio. See where the road takes you (at least for a little bit). It’s amazing how much better you can feel after unwinding in the car.

 

14. Find local pet events.

Many communities host pet-themed or pet-friendly events throughout the year. Check out your community calendar to see what is available – parades, charity events, dog shows, etc. You might be surprised about what your local venues have to offer.

 

15. Just have fun.

The bottom line is to have fun with your dog. Pets are amazing for our health. The more time you spend bonding with your dog, the happier you’ll both be!

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This entry was posted by Shauna.

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