When winter comes along, it’s easy for us to wrap ourselves up in our coziest sweater, brew some warm tea or hot chocolate, and stay entertained for hours watching our favorite movies and TV shows. For our furry companions, however, staying entertained and happy during the colder months is not as easy.
Dogs have boundless energy that needs to be released through activities like games or regular walks outdoors. And even though longer-haired breeds with thick coats like the Siberian Husky and Chow Chow are more tolerant of cold weather, dogs in general are still susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.4
In addition to adopting from a registered RPBA dog breeder, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to keep their pets happy, healthy and entertained all throughout the year — including winter. To help, we will share a few creative ways you can keep your four-legged companion delighted and happy during winter:
Arrange a Playdate
If stepping outdoors is out of the question, consider arranging a playdate with a friend or family member who also has a pet dog. This could also be your pup’s furry friend whom you have regular walks with or a friend’s pup who could also use some stimulation. A social visit from another dog could be very exciting for your dog and provide some chance to socialize with other pets and pet owners in your area.
Build an Obstacle Course
If your home or apartment has a bigger indoor space where your pup can roam around, why not build an obstacle course? Although this one may take a bit more work, the extra effort is definitely worth it! This fun-filled activity not only promotes physical exercise but offers mental stimulation as well. Using everyday objects like chairs, your pup’s favorite ball, or items like a hula hoop, you can arrange an obstacle course in your living space.
An aspect to consider when building the obstacle course is your dog’s physical ability. So, make sure your pup doesn’t jump on a surface that’s too high or too low that may cause injury. Feel free to get as creative as you want — just make sure to reward your pup with lots of praise and treats afterward!
Cook a Pet-Friendly Recipe
Who doesn’t love a good pastry or two to go with their hot chocolate or warm drink in winter? If your pup shares the same sentiment, cook up some fun in the kitchen by making some delicious dog treats for your pampered pooch. If your dog absolutely adores the taste of bacon, we have a fabulous dog-treat bacon recipe that contains bacon, cheese, and peanut butter.
If you and your pup are more into breakfast food, we also have a recipe for banana puppy pancakes that are a healthier option. This recipe is perfect for Sunday brunch, a sweet and tasty treat to reward your pup’s good behavior, or just to spoil your dog when the fancy takes you.
As a responsible pet owner, finding the time to exercise your pup is just as important as finding reputable dog breeders in your area. If going outside for a walk is out of the question during winter, there are indoor activities and exercises you and your pup can do to promote good health.
Play-based exercises with the use of toys can provide your dog with enough physical exercise and mental stimulation indoors. If you want to get in on the fun, you can also try Doga. Doga is a hybrid yoga workout that encourages your pup to exercise along with you. Doga poses can be done in a small space at home and can help reduce stress and strengthen your bond.
Go for a Brief Walk Outdoors
If your dog loves to go out on walks even during winter, it’s best to go on shorter walks especially on very cold days. When going out for a walk, always keep your furry companion on a leash as the reduced visibility can cause your dog to lose your scent and become lost. The leash will also protect your dog from potential danger, such as bodies of water that may not be visible.
If your dog isn’t equipped for colder weather with a thick coat, have him or her put on a coat or sweater to keep warm. Just make sure the clothing is the right size so that it doesn’t restrict movement and remove the clothing when stepping into a heated indoor environment to avoid overheating. Another tip to keep in mind is to avoid winter puddles as they may contain invisible toxins, such as antifreeze or de-icing chemicals.
Purchase Pet-Safe, Indoor Toys
During busy days when you simply can’t tear yourself off the computer or stay away from the keyboard for too long, pet-safe, indoor crate toys are the simplest ways to keep your pup entertained for hours on end. When introducing new toys to your dog’s routine, be sure to do so gradually and rotate the toys they already have along with the new ones. This will keep their interest up, so you can simply switch a different toy out when they get bored with the one they have now.
Watch a Dog-Centric Movie
If you love to binge-watch your favorite TV shows and movies during winter break, invite your pup to get in on the fun by watching some dog-centric movies. There are several movies that are centered around dogs and the incredible bonds they have with their human companions. A few good examples of classic movies about dogs include:
- All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
- Lady and the Tramp
- Marley & Me
As a bonus, you can get cozy on the couch and prepare some delicious dog treats to make your movie night extra special for both you and your pup!
These are just a few simple yet effective ways you can keep your doggy happy and healthy during the colder months. With these fun-filled activities, you can strengthen your bond and keep your furry companion entertained indoors all winter long!