Keeping Outdoor Dogs Active During Winter

If you’re the type of person who enjoys the outdoors but doesn’t necessarily enjoy the kind of weather the Fall and Winter seasons can bring, you may not be the only one feeling cooped-up and bored. While dogs have the freedom to roam in our back yards or dog parks when the sun is shining, cold weather and snow tend to make those activities far less enjoyable for both the dog and their owners. Energy begins to build up, and any experienced pet owner will know their potted plants and couch cushions are at their highest risk of being destroyed in the name of boredom when this occurs.

In order to keep our pets from becoming destructive, we need to find new ways to expend their energy and keep them entertained. Here are a few things you and your dog can do to ease the burden of having to spend most of your time indoors this Winter.

Interactive Feeders

Food is often times the easiest way to grab your dog’s interest. Instead of simply placing food into a bowl, you can make a game out of it – not only will this keep your dog entertained, it’ll burn off some of that excess energy too! Dog food dispensers range from $5 to $15 and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. If your dog becomes bored or disinterested, food dispenser puzzles can be a great way to stimulate both the body and the mind. Here’s a video comparing regular dog food bowls vs food dispensing toys. We can clearly see the dogs being much more engaged when they really have to work for their food.

Indoor Parks

Avoid the cold weather entirely and book a ticket to an indoor dog park. You’re likely to find other dog owners who are there for similar reasons, and a few hours of running around with other animals is usually all it takes to wear your dog out. Check listings in your area for doggy daycares if you work during the day as well.


Indoor parks aren’t the only activity that take place inside a building. Enrolling your dog into an obedience course is a neat way to introduce both beginner and intermediate dogs important life skills as well as some new tricks. It offers a new challenge, and most classes offer you the option of sitting in or just observing from the side. Check in your area for accredited trainers who offer multiple courses so you can pick which option best fits your needs.

Games & Activities

There’s nothing like a game of tug-of-war to tire a dog out. If your dog likes to run around, try finding space in your basement or an unused guest bedroom to let them stretch out their legs. If you have them, consider throwing a ball up and down the stairs makes for a great cardiovascular workout. New games like Which Hand and Three Cups can change up the pace and keep them interested as well.


It’s important to remember that after all this encouraged activity, dogs tend to become very thirsty. To help them absorb the food they’ve earned from their toys and puzzles throughout the day, we encourage you to put a few ounces of Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops into their self-filling water bowls. Not only will our product allow your dog to better absorb nutrients, customers report that their dogs feel calmer and less stressed upon regular use. If you find that your companion is still riled up even after a day full of activity and exercise, Dr. Willard’s will relax and settle your dog’s state of mind.

Is your dog ready for the Winter season? Check out our other blog on adjusting your pet’s routine for the cold season.

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