Two dogs wearing knitted hats enjoying some winter activities in the snow.

Here in the Northeast, people and pets are no strangers to winter. Figuring out how to stay active during the long months of snow, ice, wind, and cold temperatures looks different for everyone. Our pets must rely on us for their daily dose of play and exercise, however, and that means coming up with creative ways to keep them busy, regardless of what’s going on outside.

The team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital has plenty of ideas for winter activities for pets that will be sure to keep your furry guy or gal happy, even if you get snowed in!

Winter Activities for Pets

For the most part, pets can enjoy the same outdoor activities in the winter as in the summer, with some modifications. Be sure to bundle yourselves up and head out for a walk, explore new hiking trails together, play fetch, or have a snowball fight. The sky (and the weather) is the limit.

When it comes to winter activities for pets, safety should be at the forefront of your thoughts, of course. Invest in waterproof outerwear for your pet, including foot coverings or, at the very least, some protective paw wax. Be mindful of how long you stay out with your pet in inclement weather – if it’s getting too cold for you it’s definitely too cold for them. And always wipe off and thoroughly dry their paws and fur after each outdoor adventure.

Getting Creative

Sometimes getting outdoors is simply impossible. Whether there is a storm in effect, it’s too cold, or you’re snowed in, there are still plenty of ways to keep your pet occupied.

  • Work on obedience training – go over the basics or teach your pet a new trick. Even cats can be taught tricks with the right motivation!
  • Set up an indoor obstacle course for your pet, or try out an indoor agility training class.
  • Social dogs may enjoy a trip to a doggie daycare for some exercise and socialization.
  • Try out a new homemade pet treat recipe, or peruse the internet for DIY pet toy ideas.

What are your favorite ways to keep yourself and your pet active during the winter months? We’d love to know! Post a picture of you and your pet enjoying the Maine winter, either indoors or outdoors, to our social media, or let us know the next time we see you. Happy winter!