Winter Activities For You And Your Dog
Dogs can be precious friends, and there are many reasons why every man should have a dog. They are also very energetic creatures, and sometimes, it seems that they are blessed with boundless energy. However, winter could be a tricky period for energetic dogs, as not many dogs really like cold weather and it isn’t uncommon for your dog to become something of a couch potato when the snow starts to fall. This isn’t ideal, and doing nothing about it could lead to obesity and the problems that come with that. So, we would be looking at a couple of activities you can take on with your dog during the winter months.
1. Go Camping
That might sound absurd to you, but winter camping is a great way to spend some quality time with your dog away from the noise and crowds of the city. Find a camping site that is pet-friendly and of course, make sure you are adequately equipped with winter gear. Take with you warming apparel for your dog, including winter coats, boots, and a cozy bed.
Also, ensure you pack some extra food, water, treats, a harness, bowls, vet records, leash, waste bags, and a first aid kit. You can make it a short trip, especially if you are a newbie in the camping game. As a handy backup, you can also scout for pet-friendly hotels in the area you’re camping, just in case things get too hairy.
2. Trick Training
This can be done in your backyard, and there isn’t a need to travel a far distance. Not all dogs are blessed with the stamina to brave the cold for camping or hiking. A simple series of lessons teaching your pup basic things like sitting, rolling over, and so on could improve your pet’s coordination and stamina.
You can further motivate your pet by rewarding success with treats and belly rubs; this would ensure that it puts its best paw forward. You can, with the help of snow, create an obstacle course for your dog to navigate and, therefore, also train the dog’s brain while also increasing mobility and strength.
The name might put you off, but this is a fun activity that your pet is sure to enjoy. It is a unique marriage between skiing and dog sledding. You can procure a pair of skis, and when you put them on, have your dog run out in front of you, pulling a rope connected to its harness. You can also use a dog sledding harness with the other end tied around your waist while you use the ski poles to help steer and navigate your dog. This can be done if you have more than one dog; however, ensure that your dog is large enough to run across a considerable distance and that it is healthy enough to carry out this activity. Dogs are quick learners, and very soon, you’ll be able to bellow commands at your pet to stop or turn with impressive accuracy.
4. Meal Time/Think Time
Your dog’s physical condition is vital during the winter months, but so is its mental state. You need to develop the mental faculties of your dog(s), and a great way to do this is during meal times. There are slow feeders, which are food bowls that resemble mazes and require some thinking on your pooch’s part to figure out. Eating this way is a lot more fun for your pet, and also it slows down the process of eating, which in turn makes for healthier mealtime. You can also invest in treat-dispensing toys, which, as the name implies, provides food as a reward for play.
5. Take A Hike
Strike out with your pooch and go hiking together. It makes for a good time together, and it’s also an excellent way for you to get some exercise yourself. You can go for trails that are generally popular during the summer months as they are more likely to be less occupied in the winter months. You can walk along with your dog, but make sure it is secured to a leash and doesn’t run off as the path might also be in use by other dog owners or skiers.
You and your dog need to be well dressed for this activity, and it is advisable to wear some warm clothing like a thermal top and pants and warm winter boots. The same applies to your pet and dog boots, dog coats, and other warm items that would be helpful for this endeavor.
6. Take A Nice Drive
Road trips are usually a delight for dogs, and if you have a dog that is low on stamina and unable to partake in high-octane activities, then a nice, quiet drive is the way to go. Search the internet for some dog-friendly places to visit and try going there. The new scenery will be fascinating to your dog, and you both can spend the day exploring a new environment and buying a couple of treats. Of course, like with any other trip, ensure you have all the things you need like water, food, and waste bags. And if there are parks decorated for the holidays, you can go and stare at the decorations or lights with your pet.
7. Indoor Parks
The other options here have been for outdoor activities; however, some days are so blustery, going out is a bad idea. Your pet still needs exercise, and in such cases, you can visit an indoor park for some fun. Indoor parks have become more and more popular recently, and it is possible to find a couple around your area. While there, you can take a class with agility classes, flyball, and so on available for exploration. If you do not have an indoor doggie park near you, an indoor agility course is another option for you and your pooch.
With the help of some chairs, brooms, and blankets, you can help your dog increase agility by going through the course. Make sure that the tools used are either sturdy enough to handle a little roughhousing from your pet or at least disposable enough that you don’t miss them when they’re gone.