We don’t know what’s sagging more—our spirits or our dog’s bored-looking jowls. It’d be easy for pups and people alike to sigh the rest of the winter away, so here’s a little pep talk, Sidewalk Dog style: before you know it we’ll be back to basking in all the best things life has to offer. We’re talkin’ patio parties, road trips, drive-ins, and more. Until then, dear SWDers, here are 30+ things you can do to thrive–not just survive–’til spring.
Doggo Enrichment Activities
1. Teach your old (or young) dog a new trick. Try going beyond the basics: how ’bout a hug?
2. Treat your pup to a new toy. Most pet shops allow four-legged visitors, so you can let them pick it out themselves. For smartypups, we’re eyeing dis Dog Casino.
3. When that new toy becomes old news, organize a toy swap. Gather up the gear that still has some chew-life in it and trade with a friend whose pup is in the same boat.
Active Winter Activities for Dogs
4. Sign up for a class. The next local agility star might be right under your roof–you’ll never know unless you try!
5. Bundle up and visit a dog park, or give skijoring a try together.
6. Play a game of fetch up and down your stairs. It’s the quickest way we know to burn energy indoors. Just make sure your pup (and carpet) are up to the task.
7. The second-quickest way: a chase-it wand.
8. Improvise an obstacle course for some DIY agility.
9. Play “find it”: hide small pieces of treats around your house and watch your pup’s nose go nuts. There are endless variations of this game—get creative!
10. Set up a play date between your pup and their doggy friend(s).
11. Even if you’re not generally a winter walker, seeing your neighborhood in a different season can be an unexpected delight. For extra magic, head out after a fresh coat of snow. (Safety first!)
12. Make a plan to get your pup bikini ready. (Doga, anyone?)
13. If your pup isn’t the only one who put on a couple of pounds this winter, a game of tug can be a great workout for dog and hooman alike.
14. Make your water lover wag with an indoor swim.
15. Some nights should be warm enough to bundle up for a game of fetch, but the sun is still setting pretty early. The solution? Glow-in-the-dark fetch.
16. Play hide and seek in the house. You hide, they seek. (Better yet: teach your human kids to play this one with Fido. Two stir-crazy creatures, one stone!)
17. Sign them up for a play group.
Other Winter Ideas for You & Pup
18. Visit a self-service dog wash. Because slush.
19. Bake healthy treats for your pup. Let them lick the spoon.
20. Pick an org and sign up to foster.
21. Can’t foster? Volunteer for a local rescue or shelter in another way: home visits, puppy socialization, or blanket-making to name a few.
22. Watch a movie with your pup, preferably a flick featuring a doggy actor.
23. Start an Instagram account for your dog. Follow other pawesome dog Instagram accounts. Here are a few of our faves in Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and the Twin Cities.
24. Then, use #SidewalkDog to be featured on our Instagram page!
25. Delight your dog with a day of daycare.
26. Get your pup ready for warmer days by brushing up on patio etiquette.
27. Visit a bookstore with your woofer. (Sniff one out in our dog-friendly directory.)
28. Then snuggle with ’em on the sofa while you read (or re-read) a fave dog book.
29. Write the story of you and your four-legged BFF. (And consider sharing it with us!)
30. Train your pooch to become a therapy dog.
31. Take your pup on a shopping spree: a human clothing store, then a pet boutique, heck, maybe even a dog-friendly mall.
32. Once you’re sporting the new duds, take some selfies together (and then tag ’em @SidewalkDog so we can appreciate the cuteness).
33. Plan a vacation or staycation at a dog-friendly hotel. (Psst: Here are a few in the Twin Cities, Illinois and Colorado that absolutely ruv the puppers.)
34. Visit a dog-friendly liquor store.
35. Then, make one of these delicious dog-themed cocktails.
36. Settle into your favorite cozy spot with your pup and soak up the winter snuggle season, cuz it won’t last forever. We promise!
Final thought: be careful what you wish for. Remember spring poop patrol? We’re SO not ready for that.
What are your fave winter activities to do with doggo? Woof at us in the comments and tag @SidewalkDog in all your winter adventures.
Featured photo: @endeavorsofego
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 enter our drool-worthy giveaways.
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