8 Cold Weather Activities for Dogs

Tips to avoid boredom when cooped up during winter months.

If you are trapped at home with your pup because of a winter storm, or because of frigid temperatures and wondering how to keep your pup occupied, have no fear. Though it is a challenge, it is possible to keep your dog from going stir-crazy or destroying your home from boredom, even without spending the usual amount of time outdoors. The key is focusing on mental exercise instead of physical exercise and remembering that quality time with your dog is a valuable commodity that can compensate for less activity. Here are eight indoor activities for you and your dog:

Play together.

If your dog likes to play, now is the time to be the most willing play buddy ever. Games like fetch and tug can be played inside, and so can hide-and-seek. Maybe even make an indoor obstacle course. or a scavenger hunt. It doesn’t matter so much what you play as long as you are engaging your dog in a fun activity.

Train together.

As a trainer, I am always in favor of lots of training time with dogs, but cold weather makes this an appealing option. Teaching tricks such as roll over, crawl, sit pretty, or jumping through a hula hoop give your dog plenty of mental stimulation and are usually fun to show off later, too. Practical skills such as wait, back, 4 on floor, heel, down, stay, and leave it are so useful that teaching them or brushing up on them will be time well spent. Most dogs enjoy training if it is done in a positive, humane way. Your dog gets treats for being right and has your undivided attention—a total win

Massage time.

If your dog loves physical contact, days stuck inside can be great opportunities for learning/giving dog massages. Basic massage instructions can be found on YouTube, or you can just do whatever you know your dog already likes. For dogs who love to be brushed, a snow day can be an opportunity to spend a significant amount of time maintaining his coat. If your dog dislikes being brushed, it’s probably wise to skip it on days that are already a bummer because of being stuck inside.

Surprise toys.

Most dogs love receiving new toys or things to chew on. If that describes your dog, consider this a great week to bring out a new toy or two, or even something extra special to chew on. Though