Wintertime can seem like an endless season of frigid temperatures, gloomy days, and unpredictable weather resulting in snowstorms, ice, and sleet — all of which can lead to days spent cooped up inside. As a result, winter can also lead to boredom and inactivity among dogs (and dog parents). Even when we try to stay active on those icy cold days, sometimes it’s simply easier to stay indoors wrapped in a blanket with a good book and your furry best friend curled up by your side.
THREE WAYS YOU AND YOUR PUP CAN BEAT WINTER BOREDOM
There are ways, however, that you and your dog can beat winter boredom, even on the chilliest of days. Here are some of the top ways we at My Hooves and Paws have found to keep our canine companions active, occupied, and engaged throughout winter. Be sure to visit our online pet store to peruse our extensive selection of dog toys, dog chews, and cold weather active gear to keep your pups busy and warm. In the meantime, here are three tips for you to consider.
When dogs get bored, their behaviors can be affected, either causing them to become mischievous, destructive, or rambunctious. Try keeping them mentally stimulated with indoor games, puzzle toys, treat dispensing toys, or try making a few DIY puzzles using safe objects found around the house. For instance, Ruffwear® Dog Gear makes super durable treat-dispensing toysthat bounce erratically providing your pup with hours of fun. Here at My Hooves and Paws, we offer a few different options and shapes, such as the Gnawt-a-Cone bounce toy, the Gnawt-a-Rock bounce toy (available in three different colors), and the turnip-shaped bounce toy. Simply insert a small treat of your choice in the hole, shake it for your pup so they know there’s something in there, and let them go wild. These types of treat-dispensing silly bouncers provide mental stimulation while allowing your doggo to bounce and play. These toys are safe for use indoors and are dishwasher safe. Kong® also makes several types of interactive chew toys designed to keep your pup busy for hours. Check out our selection of Kong® Goodie Bones that double as fetch toys, all of which can be stuffed with yummy treats!
Keep Them Active
Dogs are active creatures by nature and need to have plenty of daily playtime and exercise to support their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Many pet parents continue to stay active outdoors, even on the coldest days, which is great! Walking your dog and playing with them outside so they can run is essential, even during winter. If it’s too cold to head to your nearest outdoor dog park or hit the trails in your favorite open space area, search your community for an indoor dog park. These are quite common in colder regions of the U.S. and are gaining popularity nationwide as of late. You can even check out an agility course in your community, which can give your pup plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Doggie play dates are another way to keep your dog active, which is excellent for socialization. Dog training classes provide mental and physical stimulation while improving your dog’s behavioral skills.
Just remember, when you spend time with your dog outdoors during winter, it’s important to keep your pup warm and protected from the elements, especially the short-haired breeds. Some breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Huskies have thick coats designed for winter and cold temperatures; but others, like Greyhounds and Whippets, need a little extra warmth when enjoying playtime outside. Additionally, you will want to consider your dog’s age. Senior dogs are much more sensitive to cold weather, which affects their muscles and joints.
Winter Dog Gear
- Dog Coats and Jackets: Our online pet store offers a wide array of dog coats that are warm, waterproof, and provide plenty of wiggle room for walking, running, and playing. Check out our collection of cozy coats, jackets, and sweaters for dogs of all ages and sizes. You’ll find everything from Ruffwear dog coats that are fleece-lined and insulated for the coldest outdoor adventures to snuggly Ultra Paws® dog jackets.
- Dog Boots, Socks, and Leg Liners: Ruffwear offers some of the most popular, durable, waterproof dog boots that provide warmth and extra grip for trekking on cold, slick surfaces. These dog boots come in many cool colors and a wide range of sizes. Ruffwear also makes dog boot liners which provide extra comfort and protection for your dog’s paws.
- Doggles: When the bright rays of the sun shine on fluffy white snow, it can cause snow blindness in dogs, just as it can with people. Snow blindness, while temporary, can be very painful and cause sunburned eyes. Wearing protective eyewear when adventuring outdoors in the snow can protect your dog’s vision. Doggles® dog goggles are designed specifically with dogs in mind, providing them with UV protection and cover from debris getting in their eyes during their outdoor adventures. Check them out!
Daily Playtime Is Essential
It’s important to make time for playtime with your pup every day. Even on days when it’s too cold to spend more than a few minutes at a time outside, find games that you can play together inside. This might include tug, fun training games like teaching them to put their toys away, or playing “hide the treats,” where you hide a handful of treats around the house for them to sniff out.
On warmer days, spend at least 30 minutes each day playing fetch in the yard or at the park, playing chase, tossing a ball, or throwing the frisbee. You can even create an agility park in your yard using objects found around the home. The goal is to keep them active and stimulated so that they get plenty of movement and exercise, which is essential for their whole health, wellness, and happiness.
Need a few toys to keep them engaged during playtime? Our online pet store has a wide range of balls and fetch toys for dogs from top brands like Chuckit!®, including balls, ball launchers, indoor balls, throwing discs, and more! We also have all the top-selling Kong® chew toys, fetch toys, and tug toys for dogs of all sizes and ages.
Shop Our Online Pet Store
No matter what kind of dog supplies you need to beat winter boredom, you can find the top brands at the lowest prices when you shop our pet store online. From dog coats and dog boots to dog toys, chews, dog beds, dog blankets, healthful dog treats, and more, we have something for all your pets. We even offer health care and wellness items for dogs to help keep them healthy, happy, and active through all stages of their lives. Shop My Hooves and Paws, a Top Rated National® online pet store, backed by excellent ratings and reviews, friendly customer service, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Plus, check out our sale items to save even more on your order of pet supplies.
Stay warm this winter and be sure to tune in for part two of our blog series to learn even more ways to beat winter boredom. Until then, thanks for reading!