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It's Freezing Outside ... and I'm Bored!

Posted by Caleb Liber on

Okay, so living in Syracuse, NY has toughened me up to cold weather. If you live around the Central NY area, there's simply no way around it. Approximately half of the year is going to be cold and snowy, with temperatures dipping into the negatives. Some bigger name dogs, such as Labs, Huskies, and St. Bernards, love the snow, but there are numerous other breeds (and mixed breeds) that want nothing to do with it. Plus, many of us, humans, dislike the cold, snowy weather too, no matter if our dogs enjoy it or not. So I've learned how to be creative with my dog during the snowy season here in Syracuse. Here are some ideas for indoor activities when it's just too cold to be outdoors...

- LET'S PLAY FETCH! Yeah, it's not quite as fun as hurling the ball as far as we can outdoors, but dogs still love this! My place is tiny, but I still have a hallway to throw my buddy's ball down for him. Just make sure there are no breakable objects around!

- HIDE AND SEEK IS FUN! Even if your place is small, like mine, your dog will still love playing. Get creative! It may seem silly to you, but your dog will be moving around and enjoying him/herself.

- AN INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE IS LOADS OF FUN! Move some chairs around and build a little course. Then you can show your pup how to run the course and give them a treat when they finish. This will help to give them the exercise they need during that negative degree weather!

- NEW TRICKS! Think your dog already knows it all? Well, there's always some sort of new trick you could teach them. Or perhaps just work on certain commands that they already know. No need to be too strict about anything though. They will just love that you're hanging out and paying attention to them!

- HIDING TREATS CAN BE FUN! Put them inside different toys that your dog loves. Or, put them under blankets that they lay on. They're sense of smell is way stronger than ours, and they'll have fun trying to find the treats. If they're having trouble though, it's okay to help them out.

- TRY A TREADMILL! Some dogs enjoy walking (and running) on treadmills, just like we do! I'll admit though, my dog hates them and barks at them, but I do know some other furry friends that love to use them. Just make sure it's safe. Always watch them and never leave them unattended. Please note, this definitely isn't for every dog, but it doesn't hurt to try it out if you have one handy.

The cold weather can be 'ruff' (pun intended)! Dogs get bored, just as we do. The winter season in Syracuse (and many other areas) calls for a little creativity. I'm not saying that we should never take our dogs outside when it's cold. All dogs should be taken outdoors every day (even in the winter). But some dogs (and people) would rather stay inside. Still ... when I get the chance, and the weather warms up slightly, I jump at the opportunity to take my dog on a hike. You may have to shorten the duration of the hike, but your four-legged buddy should still have the chance to get outside as much as possible. Keep in mind though, that when it's simply too darn cold, it's good to know how to keep them entertained, exercised, and happy within the comfort of your own home. Have some indoor fun and remember, spring is just around the corner!

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