When the storm clouds roll over the mountains and the frosty chill begins to set in for the winter, you probably anticipate a lot of days spent indoors and bored - and so does your dog. Unfortunately, cold and wet winter weather can curtail your normal, everyday routine, which means a lot of free time without any idea of what to do or where to go. Thankfully, there are more ideas than ever before for both you and your dog to enjoy time spent out of the house during the winter season, which also doesn't require dealing with the hazards of inclement weather. Read on to discover some unexpected places where you and your dog can enjoy yourselves until the sun reappears in the spring.
Take a Cooking Class in a Pet Bakery
Yes, pet bakeries exist, and they often prepare delicious dog treats for your pets to enjoy all year round. However, if you and your dog find yourselves with a free afternoon on a cold, snowy day and nowhere to go, simply do some quick Googling and search for any local pet bakeries in your area to see if they offer cooking classes for pets and their owners. Learn how to make your dog's favorite goodies, and enjoy watching your pup lick all the utensils after you've created your culinary masterpieces. Once you've perfected your doggy treats in the store, stock up on all the necessary ingredients and learn to bake them at home for your next rainy day stuck indoors with your furry friend. You can even search online to find potential alternative recipes to your dog's favorite name-brand treats and make something that might taste similar for a bargain, as well.
Seek Out An Indoor Dog Park
While heading out for a day at the dog park isn't exactly a new, fresh idea, finding one that's indoors can present more of a challenge. Thankfully, though, they are available in certain locales, providing you with an opportunity to let your pooch run wild for hours of physical activity without dealing with the stress or health hazards that come with cold, icy temperatures. Let your pet burn off any pent-up energy without any hindrances, and allow him of her to socialize with other dogs in the process. Take a friend of your own who also owns a dog, and enjoy your own social time with friends while your dogs run, jump, slide and hide all over the indoor park. As an added precaution, always be sure to have your dog's leash and collar or harness handy in case your pup or someone else's doesn't get along as well with others as you'd hoped.
Relax and Meditate at a Dog-Friendly Yoga Class
These days, more and more places are accepting well-trained, sociable dogs into their businesses, and the concept has even stretched into your weekly yoga class. The practice is called Doga, and it has become a popular, trendy way to get in your regular yoga session with your fuzzy buddy right beside you for additional bonding and support. Truly perfect your "downward dog" pose when you're sharing a mat with your canine, and give the both of you a chance to escape into your safe space as the snowstorm rages on outside. This presents you with the opportunity to eliminate your cabin fever and take in some much-needed relaxation for your own physical and mental health, and peace of mind. When you're happy, your dog is happy, so bonding over such activities together can be a joyous occasion.
Visit Your Local Pet Store
It might seem like a no-brainer to take your pet to a pet store, but they often have more to offer than a simple shopping spree for you and your dog. While they certainly will provide plenty of rawhide bones, squeaky chew toys and soft fuzzy blankets for your dog's eyes to go wide over, look into any special classes or events your local store might hold during the winter season. Even something like a behavioral class to learn doggy etiquette, or a special spa day for your pup to be pampered at a discounted rate, could make for a fun day out of the rain. Take advantage of the store's offerings and make some new friends, and you could potentially wind up with even greater deals on more toys, treats or other products you've had your eye on for a while.
Score a Special Dog Meal at a Nearby Cafe
Many dog lovers who own cafes these days have made their patio settings available to your favorite canines, but some are only open during the warmer seasons. Opt for one that has an outdoor patio area that also provides heat lamps or outdoor fireplaces around the space to keep you and your dog warm in the brisk weather, sheltered from the rain. Depending on the locale, some restaurants and cafes offer your pup their own special meal as you enjoy your own culinary treat or warm beverage. Load up on a hot caramel latte and a banana nut muffin before heading home, and allow your dog to indulge the same way before returning home for an afternoon nap in front of the fire.
Wander Around the Shopping Mall
Being stuck indoors means one thing: shopping. While online shopping all day can be a hazard to your health and your bank account, why not choose instead to wander the traditional mall setting with your pooch? You can stretch your legs and take in some extra cardio as you peruse the racks for designer duds on sale. Meanwhile, your dog enjoys the benefits of walking too, as well as taking in the other people in the mall around you. If your local mall doesn't allow dogs indoors, opt instead for an outdoor shopping outlet that still has plenty of places to duck inside from the cold and rain when necessary, but is also more relaxed about your dog's presence in their store.
Overall, there is a myriad of unexpected places for you and your dog to enjoy spending time together during the winter weather. Go on a fun adventure with your fuzzy best friend and bond over your new experience together.