Dog playing in snow

Snow What if it’s Winter

| January 21, 2022

The days of long summery strolls through green butterfly fields have become a distant dream. But since when was summer weather a prerequisite for fun with the pup? Here are some fun things to do with your dog during the winter months:  

Bond over training

Did you know that January is officially known as Train Your Dog Month? Good, consistent training is so important for an animal’s overall wellbeing. It sets puppies up for success and helps adults and seniors thrive. It can preserve, even strengthen, the human-animal bond. It can also be a whole lot of fun! 

Toronto Humane Society is currently offering group training classes, both virtually and in-person for outdoor classes. Here is a list of our current offerings: 

  • Foundations Tier 1: Outdoors 
  • Foundations Tier 2: Virtual  
  • New Virtual Beginner Rally For Ultimate Engagement 
  • Puppy Manners: Outdoors  
  • Puppy Socialization: Virtual – every Saturday 

Visit our booking page to find a class that’s right for you.  

Make mealtime fun

Mealtime at home can be a great opportunity to let your dog use his or her brain to forage for food. Here are some examples.  

If you have a muffin baking tin, turn it upside down and spread your dog’s food around the depressions. Or, if you have some tennis balls in the house, place the muffin tin right-side up and store kibble inside the cups. Then place the tennis balls on top of each kibble pile.  

Have a cardboard box laying around? Fill it with crumpled up newspaper and hide your dog’s treats in there. Dogs love this one. Just make sure you don’t leave any shredded paper around once mealtime is over.   

Create challenging games

Challenging games and puzzles are great ways to keep your animal active during the cold winter months.    

For example, you can create a kibble scavenger hunt in your backyard or a large enough room in your house. Make the hiding places easy – even within plain sight at first. Tell the dog to “Go Find It” and lead the dog to the pile of “hidden” kibble. Once the dog gets the idea, you can gradually make the food more difficult to find. Remember, if the dog stops looking or shows stress over the game, simply make it easier, and then increase difficulty incrementally in small steps. 

Treat them with toys!

If you weren’t showering your dog with gifts during the holidays, you could treat them with some new interactive toys to keep them engaged. Toys that also double as treat dispensers, like the classic KONG toy, are great tools to keep your dog’s mind active during the cold winter months.    

Get outside

While you might not be as tempted to venture outside during the winter months, your dog still needs  outdoor activity and exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Regular walks are great exercise for you and your pup. But always be mindful of the cold. Visit us here for tips on how to keep your dog safe from frostbite.  

Giving your pet lots of opportunities to be active is vital to their health – and yours!