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Winter is definitely here, and for us humans, there’s no better activity during blizzards than curling up in front of the fire with steaming hot chocolate…or hot buttered rum for grown-ups! 😉
It can be challenging to keep the furry members of the family entertained during snow days, though. Read below for top ways to keep your dog busy during snow days, when outside time is limited!
Train Their Brain
Mental stimulation is fantastic for preventing bored dogs, so dog puzzles are perfect activities for snowy days. Start out with one appropriate for your dog’s skill level and interests.
Eventually you can move up to more complicated puzzles as long as your pup enjoys them and stays interested. Roxy is not a huge fan of having to use her brain, but Rico absolutely LOVES them! Here are some of his favorites, and you can see even more here in our list of best dog puzzles!
Provide Slow-Dispensing Treats
Having your dogs work for their food can help drain their energy and keep them calm on stormy afternoons. Stuff a Kong with some of their favorite treats and give them something to work at.
You can even freeze it after filling it to stretch out their treat time! Some great fillers are peanut butter, cheese, ground meat, and canned pumpkin.
Get the Zoomies Out
Dogs still need physical activity even when the weather isn’t cooperating. Roxy & Rico’s absolute favorite thing to do is chase a laser pointer up and down the hallway. They’ll run and chase it all day if we let them!
Pro tip: try to use a long hallway, and make sure you clear any breakables away first! Just..don’t leave the laser pointer out where they can try to use it themselves…trust me, Roxy tried her best to get it to work by chewing on it!
Manage Potty Breaks
It can be a mess trekking through the wind and snow for a potty break, but one way to make it easier is to watch the weather for breaks during the storm.
If the forecast is expected to get much worse past 9pm, for example, take them to potty at 8:30pm. That way you can try and miss the worst weather. It’s not an exact science, but it helps!
Dress Your Dog For the Weather
If it’s really cold, or you dog’s coat is thin and they’re not used to cold weather, dress your dog for the weather conditions. A warm coat is a great way to keep them cozy during walks and play sessions!
If your area uses salt to manage ice, consider dog booties. Salt can be very drying and damaging to the pads on your dog’s feet. Some dogs take to them easily, while others have quite the adjustment period.
Luckily, they use dirt up here in Alaska, because moose can be attracted to the taste of salty roads. That can cause them to get hit by vehicles, so dirt seems to work well.
A lubricating paw balm can also help protect your dog’s pads and their nose, which can get dry and cracked during the cold weather. We like Musher’s Secret because it’s all natural, protects well, and is non-staining.
Finally…GET OUT THERE!
Once the howling winds stop, bundle up the family and go play! Have a snowball fight, make snow dog angels, and have fun!