The winter months can be very stressful for you and your furry four-legged companions. When it is cold outside, it can defiantly make playing outside tricky. But just because the cold weather keeps you inside doesn’t mean it can be a fun bonding experience for you and man’s best friend! 

No one likes being stuck inside all day with nothing to do but eat and sleep, and just like their owners, being active with something to do is essential to staying healthy and happy.

Even when the weather won’t allow it, there are several ways to keep your four-legged best friend active, happy, and healthy.

Play “Hide-And-Seek” with your dog and some treats.

One surefire way to get your dog up, moving, and interested is by hiding some treats around the house. Making sure they are hidden but also accessible is very important. You don’t want to make it too easy for them (but also not too hard). Once the treats are hidden, make sure you lead your dog to the first few, so they get the idea. Then, once they understand the assignment, they will enjoy searching the entire house for the rest. But don’t think they are the only ones having fun. Watching your best friend run around, exploring, and enjoying themselves will also give you a boost in that feel-good hormone serotonin.

Create a homemade indoor obstacle course.

An excellent way to stimulate your dog mentally and physically is by building a homemade indoor obstacle course. You have shoes, chairs, tables, and so many other things in your home. With a bit of creativity and imagination, and when arranged properly, you could create your own award-winning dog obstacle course in your living room. In no time, and with a treat in hand, you could be leading your dog over chairs, under tables, and around shoes. This will keep them stimulated and active, and it is a great bonding activity!

Plan a puppy play date!

If you have a dog, and your friend or neighbor has a dog, why not plan a puppy play date for a few hours! Play dates help keep your dog active, healthy, and happy. It also helps keep them socialized. For a dog, it is important to socialize with other dogs. It helps them build a sense of healthy trust in the world and helps get rid of needless fears or aggression.

Do some dog training.

Being stuck inside on a cold winter day doesn’t have to be boring or unproductive! On the contrary, it is an excellent opportunity to do obedience training with your dog, and maybe you can teach them a new trick or two! So, pull up your dog training videos, grab the necessities (treats, clickers, a little patience), and start with the basics. It is essential to your training to reinforce basic commands. Not only will it cement those commands into their brains, but it will also help to keep your dog engaged and stimulated mentally and physically.

Play Tug-A-War.

Keeping your dog stimulated is essential to every aspect of their health. Another vital part of physical stimulation, when stuck inside all day, is for your dog to move their whole body. With a sturdy toy and a good round of tug of war, your dog can stretch and use their entire body to move around and engage all the muscles possible. It will also make them extremely happy to play a game with their best friend. Grab a toy, and let the games begin!

Dog-Friendly Shops & Cafes.

It is never someone’s first decision to sit at home all day doing nothing, but no one wants to be out and about when it is cold outside. So, what is the happy medium? What can you and your dog do to get out of the house for a little bit while staying warm? It is time to get on the internet and research “pet-friendly” cafes & shops near me. Then, go out, get a cup of coffee and a pup cup, and maybe walk around. Or sit in a coffee shop and people-watch. Whatever the activity, it will be nice to get out of the house and spend quality time with your four-legged best friend.

Go for a walk

Though not everyone’s first option when the weather is cold, and if you can’t think of anything else to do, it might be time to bundle up in your matching sweaters and take your dog for a walk. It might not be very nice at first, but once you get going and the blood pumping, it will become an enjoyable experience for both of you! Get moving. It is time to breathe in the fresh air and go for a walk.