With four furbulous seasons, Minnesota breeds a whole lotta outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking tons of trails to visiting dog parks, skijoring, and dogsledding, we can dig plenty of dog-friendly activities on milder winter days. But sometimes we can’t (or don’t want to) brave the elements. When tossing a ball down the hall just won’t cut it anymore, here are some off-leash, indoor dog activities to burn off excess energy, socialize your furry friend, and combat cabin fever.
Note: While we verified details, we recommend calling ahead. We’re in a heckin’ pandemic after all.
MN Indoor Dog Parks
They’re the howl-y grail of winter off-leash fun, and from December through March, Stone Mountain Pet Lodge‘s Brooklyn Park location has an indoor dog park. See open dates and times, and pre-register here. There’s also an indoor dog park in St. Cloud run by Grey Face Rescue & Retirement that benefits senior rescue pups. They’re currently open for group play on Mondays from 6-8 p.m., or you can schedule private playtimes on their website. Unleashed Hounds & Hops is open, too, but you must call ahead. It’s about time the *real* it-crowd had its pick of hot spots, are we right?
MN Indoor Swimming Pools
Got a dog paddler? Let him give dock diving a try (or brush up on his skills) in The Dog Tank‘s 45-foot indoor pool in Mendota Heights. If you don’t mind a bit of a drive down south, The Paw in Mankato offers a variety of indoor swim options: private, open, and party (see video below!). Unleash those winter beach bods, buddies.
MN Indoor Dog Training
Okay, this one’s only semi-off-leash: some businesses offer open agility times. For example, Fusion Pet Retreat in Minnetonka has open ring sessions one evening per week (registering in advance is recommended). Or you could get your dog started in agility training.
MN Indoor Dog Playgroups
Join a playgroup. There aren’t as many indoor meetups during COVID, but we sniffed out a couple options. Fresh Air Training’s small-dog playgroups take place Tuesdays 7-8 p.m., Saturdays and Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon, and Sundays from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at Metro Dogs ($15 per dog). Email to reserve your spot. NEW: Got an athletic zoomer? Bloomington Obedience Training Club has a flyball team.
MN Places to Rent for Indoor Dog Activities
Dog Day Getaway has an 800-square-foot, dog-friendly rentable room, complete with a private entrance and bathroom. The space is perfect for playgroups and other events (think meet-ups, dog birthday parties, and more). Similarly, you can rent facilities at Twin Cities Obedience Training Club in Minneapolis and The Canine Coach (multiple locations). You know, for Miss Pupularity over there.
Off-leash leisure not your dog’s scene? We’ve got loads of indoor shops, coffee shops, and breweries that welcome your leashed pup in the winter months. Cause chill pups deserve a lil toasty fun, too. Want even more ideas? Here are 37 of ’em.
Featured photo: Cynthia Vu
Video: @barrett_and_finley_gsd enjoying a swim at The Paw Pet Resort
What are pup’s fave indoor dog activities when it’s too heckin’ cold to go outside? Let us know in the comments or in our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities FB Group.
Video: @colt.forty5 woofing it up at Stone Mountain Pet Lodge
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then join our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.
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