Unleash the Fun: Outdoor Winter Activities To Enjoy With Your Dog

Phoebe Cooper · Jan 8, 2024 · All

Author: Natalie Szymiczek

As the temperatures drop and snow blankets the ground, it's tempting to hibernate inside where it’s warm and cozy. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Both humans and dogs benefit from outdoor time, all year round. Exposure to natural light and fresh air provides a host of benefits, including mood enhancement, improved sleep, immune system support, mental stimulation, and physical exercise.

So, gear up for adventure this winter! Step out with your furry pal and discover a world of snowy fun. We’ve compiled a list of 10 fun outdoor activities to enjoy with your furry friend during the cold months ahead.

1. Hiking

You don't need to limit your walks to just circling the block. This winter, unleash a new level of adventure by exploring fresh trails or venturing to a state or national park with your furry friend. Embrace the season's snowy charm and discover a whole new world waiting to be explored. Whether it's the wooded trails or the vast expanse of a park, hiking in the winter can be an exhilarating experience!

2. Skijoring

Discover the exhilarating world of skijoring—a winter sport where you cross-country ski while your dog adds momentum by pulling you along. You will need cross-country skis, a special type of harness for your dog, a belt or harness for yourself, and a bungee line.

While larger breeds like Huskies, Malamutes, and Retrievers are commonly associated with skijoring due to their strength and endurance, the sport isn't restricted to them. Medium-sized and even some smaller breeds, like Pointers, Setters, and certain types of Terriers, can also participate given their energy and willingness to pull. The dog's fitness, enthusiasm, and ability to work alongside the skier matter more than its size. Proper training, equipment, and consideration of the dog's comfort and safety are crucial regardless of breed.

3. Snowball Fetch

Turn a snowy day into a game-filled wonderland by playing snowball fetch with your furry buddy! Simply pack snowballs and toss them for your dog to chase. If the snow is powdery, it will break apart when it hits their nose, creating a fun game for them if they can catch the snowball in time! It's a fantastic way to bond, keep them active, and embrace the season's magic together. Just ensure the snowballs are soft enough for safe fetching fun!

4. Dog Parks

While you might associate dog parks with warmer days, they tend to be bustling year-round, even in the winter. Dogs thrive on exercise regardless of the temperature. These parks offer a fantastic outlet for your furry friend to burn off energy and engage in social play. Just consider your dog's breed—some may need extra protection in chilly weather—to ensure they stay cozy while enjoying the social scene.

5. Snow Hide and Seek

Who says Hide and Seek is just for kids? Dogs adore this game, especially when the prize is a tasty treat. Take it outdoors by hiding treats, such as Natural Farm’s delicious Natsticks—either along a scent trail leading to a big reward or buried in a 'Snow Hide and Seek' edition. Watch as your furry friend gleefully employs their sharp sense of smell to unearth their treasure amidst the snowy fun!

6. Dog-Friendly Events

It may take a little bit of digging, but search for dog-friendly outdoor events in your area. Many parades and markets welcome furry companions, offering great socialization opportunities and new sensory experiences for your dog. Imagine strolling through an outdoor market together, discovering unique scents and sights.

7. Pet-Friendly Bubbles

Bubbles aren't just for kids—they're a blast for dogs too! Get your paws on some pet-friendly bubbles or craft your own canine-approved mix. It's a surprise hit, especially during winter! Take these floating wonders on walks or create a bubble trail in your backyard. Watch your dog revel in sheer joy, chasing and popping bubbles for unexpected delight and endless entertainment.

8. Sledding

Sledding is a great outdoor activity, and dogs can join in the fun too! Let your pup trail behind the sled or, for the adventurous, hop on your lap or ride solo. Choose gentle slopes and maintain a controlled pace, ensuring their comfort and safety. Watch for signs of hesitation and allow them to bail out if needed.

9. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is another great outdoor activity that your dog can join you with. Snowshoeing offers an ideal way to explore winter landscapes while involving your dog in the adventure. It's a low-impact activity where specialized footwear helps distribute your weight across the snow, making it easier to trek through deep drifts. Dogs love bounding alongside as you weave through snow-laden trails or open expanses.

10. Playing in the Snow

You don't need fancy gear for your dog to enjoy the outdoors—just let them loose in the snow! Whether bounding through drifts or chasing snowflakes, dogs adore the pure delight of freshly fallen snow. It's a no-frills adventure that only needs a snowy yard or park and your furry friend's endless enthusiasm for an unforgettable winter play session.

Winter isn't just about staying cozy indoors—it's about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things. Embrace the cold weather and create some new memories with your furry friend - and don’t forget to pack some delicious and nutritious snacks for your adventure!