Snowy weather doesn’t have to limit your puppy’s playtime options. In fact, a snowy day can provide even more fun! A fresh blanket of snow can make a trip to the park exciting for your puppy and can transform your familiar backyard into a winter wonderland.
Petland Kansas City has put together a list of 5 ways to entertain your puppy when the weather is cold. Keep reading to find out what you can do with your puppy this winter whether it’s snowy outside or too cold to go out.
SNOWY OUTDOOR FUN
Have you ever noticed how snowfall makes the air warmer? What’s up with that? We have no idea, we’re just glad it happens because it means that we can play outside with our furry friends! If you need some fun snow-day activities to do with your puppy, try these.
Snow Day Scavenger Hunt
A snowy backyard can make a great location for a scavenger hunt. All you need is healthy dog treats and a fresh blanket of snow. Keep your puppy inside while you go around your backyard and bury little bits of dog treats in the snow. The real fun of the game has to do with sniffing out the treats, not overeating, so be sure to make each treat piece small.
Bring your puppy outside and watch him sniff his way around the yard, finding the treats as he goes. Depending on the size of your yard, the number of treats you bury, and how many rounds you play, your puppy can get a full hour’s worth of fun outside before he’ll feel tuckered out and eager to warm up and rest inside.
Snowy Hill Sledding
If you live near hilly terrain, whether hills are on your property or at a nearby park, a fun outdoor activity to do with your puppy is sledding. For dogs, sleds are just as fun to chase as they are to ride in, which can make this activity great for the whole family.
Even if you don’t live near any hills, try getting a traditional sled with long rope reins. That way, you can pull the sled across snowy terrain no matter how flat it is. Your kids will love riding in the sled and your puppy can tag along. This is great exercise to tire your energetic puppy out, just be sure not to stay outside too long or else your puppy may get too cold.
Game of Fetch
Dogs never get sick of fetch. It’s easily their favorite game, and it can become especially fun during cold, snowy weather. The trick during wintertime is to use a brightly colored ball, frisbee, or toy that you and your puppy will be able to see easily in the bright, white landscape.
Before you play outdoor fetch with your puppy, it’s a good idea to walk around the game area to make sure there are no hazards under the snow and that the snow isn’t too deep. Also, if you foresee that your puppy will end up very wet from playing in the snow, you should have a washing and drying station ready. Depending on where you play fetch, the snow can be dirty or contaminated with ice-melt salt and other pollutants, which you’ll want to wash off your puppy before you go inside so that he doesn’t lick himself and get sick.
When it’s too cold to venture outside for very long with your new puppy, you need fun, playful ideas to keep your fur baby happy inside. Here are 3 fun indoor activities you can do with your puppy to beat the wintertime blues.
An all time favorite among dogs is tug-of-war. Your puppy will love spending time bonding with you over a fun game of tug-of-war, even if you don’t let him win. This game helps your puppy learn to channel his high-energy in a healthy way and get his growls out.
It’s important to use a high-quality rope tug when playing tug-of-war. Not all brands are the same, and you don’t want your puppy to tear off bits of rope, which could become choking hazards. Look for well-made, thick nylon or hefty material that is tightly braided with plenty of knots. As you play, keep an eye on the rope and make sure it isn’t degrading.
Teach New Commands
Each new day brings opportunities for your puppy to learn new things. As part of his development, you’re teaching him basic commands and making sure that he’s interacting with other puppies, dogs, people, and children to enhance his socialization.
But when the weather is bad and you can’t go out, you can continue training your puppy with new commands that will help him during future encounters. Your puppy will love bonding with you during these bad weather, indoor training sessions. If your puppy already knows all the basic commands and can reliably obey them, try teaching him a complex command that requires more self-control, such as “leave it.”
Be-leave it or not, the “leave it” command is actually quite challenging for puppies!
- Hold a treat in front of your puppy
- Hide another treat behind your back
- Keep saying “leave it” to prevent your puppy from eating the treat that’s in view
- Wait for your puppy to lose interest in the treat, i.e. your puppy must control his impulse to want to eat the treat
- Reward him with the hidden treat if and when he succeeds
Brain Teaser Puzzles
There may be times when the weather is terrible and you can’t necessarily play with your puppy even though you’re home. This is where brain teaser puzzles come in handy. You can keep your puppy entertained for hours with the right brain teaser puzzle, especially if you pick one that has hidden treats inside.
The benefit of these games is more than simply keeping your puppy occupied with something to do. Brain teasers can boost intelligence and help to channel a puppy’s high-energy by encouraging him to focus on the puzzle. The main objective in all puzzles is that your puppy must figure out how to move the puzzle pieces in order to access the hidden treats. Your puppy must strategize and also improve his own dexterity in order to get his rewards!
Are you ready to take home a brand-new puppy to bond with this winter? Petland Kansas City knows that getting a new puppy can be one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. Let our pet counselors find the perfect breed match for you! Stop by our Overland Park location.