4 fun dog-friendly winter activities to try with your dog in snow
It's cold outside, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with your dog. Try these 4 winter activities with your dog for a happy winter together.
If you’re like us Tractive folk, you’re no stranger to snow. Lots and lots of snow. And with winter approaching and temperatures getting colder – especially if you’ve been affected by recent coronavirus lockdowns – you may be tempted to stay inside and be a couch potato with your furry friend(s). But nature is calling, and you and your dog will need to use up your energy somewhere. Long periods indoors with little physical exercise or fresh air could be harmful to both your and your dog’s well-being. So, what fun things can you do with your dog in snow? Read on to find out!
Before you go outside…
Not so fast! Before you take your dog in snow for some winter fun, consider the following:
- Not all dog breeds can handle winter cold and snow. Find out if your dog is one of these snow-loving dogs.
- If you’re unsure about your dog’s fitness level, you should ask your vet for advice.
- Make sure your dog is adequately protected from the elements and stays warm. Consider a winter dog jacket.
- Don’t stay out for too long if it’s freezing outside. Find out which temperatures are too cold for dogs.
- Take care of the paws! Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air, chilly rain and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy skin.
- Keep nails cut short and the fur between the toes trimmed.
- Consider a pair of dog booties to protect your buddy’s paws.
- Always bring doggie bags, foldable water bowls and treats. Just like you, your dog needs a little fuel during the day to keep their energy levels up.
- If you’re going on a long walk, a first aid kit and extra supplies are a good idea. It never hurts to be prepared!
- Track both your dog’s location and physical activity with the a GPS tracker & activity monitor for dogs.
1. Go skijoring or sledding.
If you love to ski and your dog loves to run, skijoring may be the perfect winter activity for both of you! All you need is you, your dog, and a pair of skis. Skijoring is cross-country skiing with a little help from your furry friend — you’re on the skis, and your dog runs out in front of you with a long line that connects you to their harness. It may sound difficult, but the pulling part actually comes naturally to many dogs. You might be surprised how much fun it is.
If you try out skijoring with your dog in snow, make sure that you dog knows the commands for turning and stopping.
So, what are you waiting for? If it’s possible, grab your skis and head out for a winter holiday with your furry best friend.
Can’t go skiing this year? Try sledding with your dog instead!
2. Have a snowball fight or build a snowman.
Another classic fun winter activity for you and your dog in snow is a snowball fight. Most dogs love to fetch and will love chasing either you or the snowball. Form snowballs from soft snow (don’t pack them too hard), then gently toss them at your dog. Try tossing tighter packed snowballs in the air for your dog to jump at and try to catch. It’s quick, easy and a good workout for both of you! Even small dogs will enjoy this outdoor activity.
When you get tired of the snowball fight, you can make a snowman!
3. Try hiking or snowshoeing.
Some of the most popular winter activities for people include hiking and snowshoeing. If you love being outside in the snow, there’s no reason why your pup can’t come with you. Dogs love new spaces and smells, so take them along the next time you go for a hike or go snowshoeing (there are many pet-friendly trails – be sure you choose one). A winter adventure is a great way to spend time with your best friend plus, it’s a bonding experience that will get you both in shape.
Make sure you bring plenty of water for both of you as you’ll probably work up a sweat.
Learn more about snowshoeing from our friends at Rover.
4. Practice nose work.
A lot of activities can actually be practiced year round, even in cold conditions! One of them is nose work, which provides great physical and mental stimulation for dogs who love to sniff. This activity challenges your dog to use their nose to locate a certain scent. You can start by trying a few times indoors, but winter weather is the perfect opportunity to get your dog to step up their game, as wind and snow can affect scent flow and make the activity more challenging.
How to keep your dog safe in snow
No matter what you decide to do with your dog in the snow, putting a GPS tracker on your their collar or harness is a great way to ensure their safety. With a Tractive GPS tracker, you can track your dog’s location in real time from within the easy-to-use map in the free Tractive GPS app. If your dog gets curious or catches a scent and wanders off, you won’t have to worry about losing your furry friend. Just open the app and follow it to your good boy or gal.
Plus, you can even monitor your dog’s active minutes, rest minutes, and calories burned, share your dog’s activity progress on social media, and compete with other pet parents in your friends group or neighborhood with the Leaderboard feature. The Tractive GPS is the perfect tool for sporty dogs and their two-legged companions!
Want to learn more? Then watch this video about skijoring below:
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