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Winter Games for Dogs to Play and Snow Safety: Winter is here, and everything is wrapped in layers of snow in the colder regions. Have you ever seen dogs enjoying the snow? It is definitely one of the cutest sights. If you have never taken your pup outside for some “snow games,” you are missing out on so much fun. Dogs love playing with snowballs, rolling in the snow, and finding sticks hidden in the snow.
Due to safety concerns, many pet parents keep their pup indoors in winter, especially during snowfall. However, what they don’t know is that physical activity and mental stimulation is very important for their four-footed family member. In the coldest winter months, let your pooch “chill” and have some fun.
Winter Games for Dogs
Winter games can help your furry friend maintain flexibility, reduce anxiety, and boost his mood. These games can make up for your buddy’s exercise time, thereby warming his snow day. Not to mention, you get to spend some quality time with your pooch.
So, if you are a pet parent, here are some fun games to share the excitement of snow with your “companion” this winter.
1. Amaze your Dog with a Snow Maze
Dogs are smart, playful, and inquisitive –most of them, if not all. They are happy souls and love to explore and sniff around. Dogs exhibit so many traits that you observe in children. Like a child, these fur baby also loves to play and enjoy.
Setting up a maze in the snow is an entertaining activity for your “champ.” It’s easy and needs little to no equipment. All you have to do is to shovel or trample a path for your pooch. For making the expedition more enticing, you can hide a few treats throughout the maze. Let the exploration begin!
2. Seeking Fun? Play Hide-and-Seek
If there is one game that dogs never find boring is, perhaps, hide-and-seek. Hiding behind a sofa, waiting for your furry friend to find you, even the thought is so exciting. How about twisting the game for some more fun, and play hide-and-seek in the snow?
Use the snow as a sandbox and hide some of your pup’s favorite warm and stinky treats, such as meatballs. You may also hide other fun stuff like bully sticks or dog toys in the snow. Now, let your dog find sniff around and seek his “present.”
3. Skijoring– the Ultimate Adventure
If you and your furry friend have adventurous instincts, then skijoring is an exciting winter game to play. Skijoring combines cross-country skiing and dog sledding. You have to attach your pooch with your waist. Even if your champ is not a great puller, he can still run next to you while you ski.
Tip: Make sure to use an adjustable padded harness for a safe skijoring adventure.
4. Slide on the Sleds
If your baby is not up for skijoring, he may show interest in riding the sled independently. Sliding actions intrigue dogs, they become overjoyed sliding on the slopes. With training, your pup can learn to balance on a moving sled. He will eventually conquer bigger slopes and may even become pro at snowboarding.
5. Catch the Snow Balls
Winter calls for some outdoor activities, and nothing can beat the fun of snow catch. You may use a glowing Chuckit and ball to play as it is easy to find. For a classic winter twist, you may gently toss a few snowballs instead of a tennis ball to your fur baby. However, make sure your snowball is not so thick that it may hurt your dog’s teeth while crunching.
While there are endless ideas and games to “warm-up” the cold chilly days of winter, your dog’s safety and health come first. Make sure to follow these simple safety tips before you step into the winter wonderland with your pooch.
Puppies and senior dogs may have a hard time regulating their body temperatures in winter. If snow play is a one-time affair, then you don’t need to layer your dog with clothes. But, if it’s a routine, then you should get some snow gear for your pup. Your fur baby will look adorable in a dog sweater or blizzard suits with all-weather pants. Cozy puffer coats also look very cute.
· Make a bold statement with Snow Boots
If you live in an extremely cold region, make sure that your fur baby puts on his snow boots. The boots not only make your pup look stylish, but they also protect him during long walks on frozen grounds. In case your pooch does not like wearing boots, trim his nails and rub his paws with wax or balm. Don’t forget to wash the four-footy’s paws after a walk.
· Keep your Buddy away from Rock Salt
While the snow looks mesmerizing, it may contain rock salt and some dangerous chemicals. Despite being non-toxic, rock salt can upset your dog’s stomach and irritate his paws. Also, keep an eye on antifreeze, i.e., the blue and green spots on the driveways, cars, and sidewalks. Antifreeze is toxic, so make sure to wipe off your dog’s paw and remove any residue that he might lick off.
· Look for the Signs of Hypothermia
Dogs with thick coats can withstand cold temperatures, but thin-coat dogs struggle to keep their bodies warm. Think this way: if you still feel cold in your winter coat, then it’s too cold for your dog too. Don’t play with your dog for more than half-an-hour in the snow. While he is playing, look for the signs of hypothermia. Shivering is usually the first sign, accompanied by weakness and shallow breathing.
· Warm-up Your Pooch
If your dog is having fun, he may not want to come inside. In fact, the fur baby does not know when it’s time to get back in. As soon as he seems cold, cover your pup with a blanket or towel. You may also use a blow dryer (at low setting) to warm your dog. For the paw pads, you can heat up some rice in a sock and gently put on his paws.
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