It’s getting colder in Minnesota and we’ve already had a few snowy days. During this time of the year, it can be difficult to stick to your dog’s exercise routine. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have fun with your dog during these cold, winter months. Here are five activities for you and your dogs to enjoy this winter!
1. Embrace the Snow
On warmer, snowy days, don’t despise the snow! Instead, enjoy it! There’s so much you and your dog can do! In your own backyard, you can play fetch or create a maze for your dog. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out some local hiking trails or even try out something new like skijoring or dog sledding. All we ask before you enjoy some outdoor winter fun is to make sure it’s not too cold for your dog and put on your dog’s winter gear (which includes protecting the paws)!
Always exercise caution when your dog is near frozen bodies of water. The Minnesota DNR says that new, clear ice on a lake should be at least four inches thick for you to walk on it safely. Double that guideline when traveling on white, opaque ice. Not sure how thick the ice is? Contact your local bait shop for guidance.
2. Indoor Dog Fun
Do you want to get out of the house, but don’t want to brave the cold? There’s a number of places throughout the metro area that offer indoor fun for your dog. Here are just a few options:
- Stone Mountain Pet Lodge has an indoor pet playground, as well as a doggy daycare!
- Dog Day Getaway in Apple Valley has indoor playgroups, as well as a private room option.
- The Dog Tank in Mendota Heights has an indoor pool for dock diving.
3. Holiday Shopping
Need to get some shopping done, but don’t want to leave your dog at home? Then let him tag along with you! Check out some of these pet-friendly stores that allow your well-behaved dog to come inside! You may even want to stop and get photos of your dog with Santa!
4. At-Home Activities
Do you prefer to hibernate during the winter? That’s fine, we understand! But your dog (as well as other pets) still needs to exercise! You can get a little creative & make some fun at home! Set up an indoor agility course with cones, tunnels, boxes, and whatever else you can find. Or if you have a food-motivated dog, try out nose work. You can utilize puzzle toys (or DIY your own with muffin tins)! Find more inspiration here!
5. Holiday Baking
Do the holidays get you in a baking mood? Then try out some homemade pet treats! If you are new to baking for pets, review this baking guide so you know which ingredients are safe for pets – and which ones are toxic!
We hope you and your dogs have a wonderful winter season!