Fun Winter Dog Activities

Brrrrr-ing on the fun! Discover dog games you can play with your pup all winter long.

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We don’t play around when it comes to winter games for your pup! Check out some activities you can do with your dog when the temperature starts to drop.

They’ll enjoy these outdoor games...wait for it...SNOW much.

BRUSH UP ON YOUR BREEDS

Before outdoor time, first make sure your dog can properly brave the elements. Some dogs are built for the snow while others would rather snuggle up to a Hallmark movie marathon.

Take Northern breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds. These pups live their best lives when the temperature drops. This is because their broad paws help keep from sinking into the snow, those thick ears retain heat and their almond-shaped eyes are perfect for squinting, which protects their eyes from harsh wind. Other long-haired or double-coated breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands also enjoy chilly weather.

On the other hand, short-coated breeds such as Italian Greyhounds and smaller dogs (think toy breeds) will need a winter coat outdoors, though they’re probably content cozying up inside. You should also exercise caution when taking your puppy, senior dog, or arthritic dog outside since these pups have a harder time regulating their body temperature in extremely chilly weather. Instead, build an indoor doggie fort or host a play-date with another pup.

Remember, no matter the breed, no dog is immune to frostbite or hypothermia on a chilly day. If it feels too cold to you, then your dog probably feels the same way! No dog should ever be left alone in extreme weather for any period of time. Now that you know which dogs are best suited to sniff around a winter wonderland, it’s time for the fun stuff.

Dog staring up by a hay field.

HIDE & HUNT

Your dog will totally dig this one. All you need are some objects and a fresh blanket of snow.

  • Step 1: Pick a few items for your dog to find. These could be treats or toys or both! Pro tip: When hiding toys, rub them for a while in your hands. This way, your dog will pick up your scent and have an easier time finding the toy.
  • Step 2: Next, dig some small holes in the snow and hide the items you’ve chosen. You can space out the items for a harder hunt or keep them closer to each other. Just make sure to fully cover each hole and pat the snow down firmly so that your dog isn’t tipped off by lumpy mounds.
  • Step 3: Let the hunting commence. If you don’t have a fenced yard, leash your dog as they track down the items. Whenever your dog uncovers a hidden item, praise them accordingly. (Though we probably didn’t need to tell you that.)
Dog with his head in the snow.

MAZE MAYHEM

This activity might be best for smaller dogs since you won’t need as much snow, but pending on how much Mother Nature throws your way, our larger furry friends would love this, too!

  • Step 1: Shovel the snow in your yard and create pathways for your dog to run through. Have fun with it, these tunnels or pathways can be as long or short as you want!
  • Step 2: Place a little surprise for them at the end of your handmade maze. This could be their favorite treat or even a snowman they can play with.
  • Step 3: GAME TIME! Release your pup and watch them navigate the pathways you’ve just created. They might need some help, so keep your eye out and be ready to get down to their level. Once they reach the end, snap a photo so you forever remember the day you were the best dog parent ever.
Dog staring up standing in the snow.

FROSTY FETCH

A twist on a familiar favorite, this game requires minimal effort on your part and will have your pup running around the yard in no time.

Step 1: Make snowballs. Warmer snow makes for easier packing, so go for the snow in the sun or closer to the heat of your home. You can even lay on the ground for a few minutes to add heat to the snow.

Step 2: Introduce your dog to the snow. Lightly throw some snowballs to your pup to get them comfortable! It’s totally OK if they eat the snow. In fact, it’s probably pretty refreshing to them.

Step 3: Throw snowballs with a friend and play keep away with your pup. Make sure to run, encourage your dog along the way and let them catch one every now and then.

Dog, with a sweater on, running in the snow.

Oh, what fun is it to play in the snow all day! Have a blast with your dog out there and don’t forget to bundle up.


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