Outdoor Winter Games to Play with your Pup
Colorado is feeling a lot more like “Cold-orado” these days, and with the winter temperatures comes the question: “What can my dog and I do together outside?” The outdoors are the reason you live in the state after all, so why not take full advantage of every season? We’ve compiled our favorite, unique outdoor activities that you and your pup can do during this cold winter season – including a few to do when it’s snowing!
1. Snowball “Fetch”
This one is definitely fun for the whole family. When the snow starts falling, take the opportunity to make snowballs and throw them for your dog to “fetch.” They’ll love the chase (and hunt for the disappeared ball) – just make sure they don’t get too annoyed when they all disappear! For an added fun twist, fill the snowball with a treat to reward them when they “catch” it.
2. Winter Hikes
This one is fun for dogs (and humans) that enjoy a bit of a challenge. All of our recommendations for hiking apply here, but we have a few additions too: make sure you add extra layers, doggy booties, and cramp-ons to your backpack for cold/ice safety. The best part of winter hiking though, if you can get past the cold, are the unbeatable snow-capped views and quiet trails that you and pup get to enjoy! It’s a great time for one-on-one bonding for you and your best friend. Check out this article, which has several dog-friendly hikes all over Colorado, ranked by difficulty, if you need a little inspiration.
3. Dog Park on “Bluebird Days”
Bluebird Days are what many call those gorgeous Colorado winter days without a cloud to in the sky, and she’s in her full baby blue glory. These clear days, which are usually accompanied with more mild weather, are ideal for taking your dog to their favorite dog park! Bluebird days provide more opportunities for socialization (because the word is out that the park is the hot place to be!), fewer snow-covered liabilities, and an easy opportunity to exercise in a Vitamin D-rich environment.
4. Snowy Photo Shoots & Action Shots
If it’s too cold and snowy and you’re stuck close to home, why not opt in for a little winter photo shoot? Maybe build a snowman for your dog to pose with, or throw snowballs and catch some action shots. Snow is one of the most magical and beautiful weather phenoms, complimented only by your photogenic pooch. After the shoot, opt for a cozy fire featuring even more holiday photo magic.
5. Snowy Scavenger Hunt for Treats
We’re guessing this will be your dog’s favorite one, and cold/snowy weather isn’t actually required! For this game, take your pup outside and practice “extended sit” while you place treats around the yard. Once you’re done, let your dog go find them! It’s a test of memory, smells, and patience.
6. Practice your Training Commands
Speaking of “extended sit,” why not take some time to refresh your pup on your off-leash K9 commands! Each of the games listed above have opportunities to practice “sit,” “extended sit,” or “place” and “extended place” (probably while you’re setting up your snowballs to throw and your camera for the photo ops). Practice loose-leash walking while you hike, and practice “down” while you play at the dog park. The possibilities are endless!
The best part of all of these games, regardless of which one you pick, is that you get QT with your dog. Especially in the winter, when the days get shorter and the cold makes you want to stay in bed for days, having fun outdoor options for you and your pup to stay active will help keep your spirits up for all the holiday cheer.