The Ultimate Winter Bucket List for Your Dog
As the winter chill starts to set in, it’s easy to be tempted to stay indoors with your canine companion. After all, what’s better than cozying up on the couch with your furry best friend? Not much!
But at the end of the day, we all know that dogs love the great outdoors – regardless of the season. That’s why at Crumps’ Naturals we believe that just because the temperatures start to drop, it doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. So, say goodbye to the winter blues this year and hello to the ultimate winter bucket list for your dog with the Top 5 Outdoor and Top 5 Indoor Winter Activities for Dogs.
Top 5 Outdoor Winter Activities for Dogs
- Search and Rescue: Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, it has been estimated that dogs can smell anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than people! So, put your pup’s super sniffer to work this winter by playing search and rescue. At first, let your dog get the hang of the game by watching you place your pup’s favorite Crumps’ Naturals Training Collection treats in the snow. Then let your good boy or good girl loose to find the treats! Don’t make it too hard at first. Once your dog gets more used to the game, you can bury the treats deeper in the snow. You can also play this game in a similar fashion indoors if the weather is too cold outside. This dog sport is also known as scent tracking or nose work.
- Snowball Catch: If you and your pup love to watch football together, then it might be fun for both of you to head outdoors and work on your football skills whenever it snows. Make sure to do your best quarterback impression as you throw soft snowballs in the air. Then watch as your star wide receiver runs, jumps, and dives to catch the snowballs. If you live somewhere that doesn’t tend to get a lot of snow in the winter, pick up a doggy football toy and use that instead. Get ready, set, hike!
- Doggy Snow Angels: Some dogs love the snow, some dogs hate the snow. If you happen to have a dog that loves the snow, go ahead and let your dog roll around and create doggy snow angels – as long as the snow is soft. You can even play alongside your dog and make your own snow angels, if you’re up for it. Just remember to limit the amount of time that your dog plays in the snow to no more than 30 minutes. If your dog starts showing signs of being cold, be prepared to warm your pup up immediately.
- Winter Camping: You and your dog definitely have to be on the more adventurous side to go on a winter camping trip. But if you’re up for it, choose a dog-friendly camping site, pack warm blankets, and create a cozy and comfortable space for your dog in the tent. You’ll definitely get some good puppy snuggles in when you go winter camping. Also, make sure that the winter weather isn’t extreme during your camping trip.
- Winter Hiking: Hiking is a great activity for dogs, even in the winter. As long as the temperature is above freezing, you can generally go for a bit of a longer hike with your dog – around 30 to 45 minutes. However, if the temperature is below freezing, limit the amount of time on your hike to no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Also, make sure to choose a trail that’s suitable for both you and your dog’s fitness levels. And if your dog is not comfortable in temperatures below freezing, try one of these indoor activities instead.
Top 5 Indoor Winter Activities for Dogs
- Hide and Seek: When the weather outside is frightful, playing hide and seek with your dog can be delightful! First, work on training your dog to understand basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. Once your dog has the commands down, go into a room with your dog and ask him or her to stay. Then leave the room your dog is in and go find a good hiding spot. Once you’re in your spot, call your dog’s name and tell your good boy or good girl to come find you. Make sure to celebrate your dog’s victory with a special treat from the Crumps’ Naturals Holiday Collection.
- Dog Yoga: If you can sense that both you and your dog are going a little stir-crazy from being stuck indoors during a winter storm, give dog yoga, or Doga, a shot as it may help reduce stress and calm you and your pup. To get started, clear some space in a room, grab your yoga mat, and then invite your dog to join you. Remember to go at your dog’s pace, especially when starting out.
- Agility Course: Snow piling up in your backyard presents a problem when it comes to getting your dog out of the house for some exercise. Solve that problem by creating an indoor agility course for your dog using household items such as stacked pillows or empty boxes. Walk your dog through the obstacle course a few times and then let your pup impress you with his or her agility and smarts.
- Puppy Paw-ty: Dogs are social creatures. Not only does your dog like spending time with you, your good boy or good girl probably also likes spending time with his or her furry friends. If the weather has been preventing your dog from seeing his or her besties at the dog park, host a dog party and invite your pup’s best friends over, as well as your favorite dog owner friends. Pro tip: have some Crumps’ Naturals dog treats ready to go for this dog paw-ty!
- Cozy Movie Night: After a fun-filled day of winter adventures, enjoy a cozy movie night with your pup. Arrange some pillows and blankets on your couch to make it as comfortable as possible. Then cuddle up with your pup and watch movies starring your dog’s cinema heroes. Talk about the pawfect way to end a great winter day!
Winter Wisdom: Safeguarding Your Pup in Chilly Conditions
While we’re all for winter fun with your dog, it’s very important to be mindful of the temperature outside, as well as other important factors like wind chill, before you and your pup leave the house. Since all dogs are unique, it’s difficult to provide an exact temperature range that will be comfortable for your dog without knowing everything about your good boy or good girl.
However, as a general rule of thumb, if the temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit or around 7 degrees Celsius, you and your dog should be fine outdoors. However, once the temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius, some dogs, especially small breed dogs and short-haired dogs, might feel too cold and should not be outside for a long period of time. On the other hand, medium-to-large dog breeds that have adapted to cold temperatures might be able to stay outdoors in this temperature for around 30 minutes to an hour.
Once the temperature reaches under 20 degrees Fahrenheit or around -6 degrees Celsius, your dog can become really cold and develop health problems associated with the cold weather, such as frostbite or hypothermia. So, limit your dog’s exposure to these frigid temperatures.
When you and your dog go outside this winter, make sure to monitor your dog’s behavior closely and head inside as soon as you notice any signs that your dog needs to warm up.