Not everyone is a fan of chilly winter weather, including some pets. It can be a challenge to get them to go outside, but it is important that the pet’s get the fresh air and exercise they need. According to ASPCA animal trainer Kristen Collins, “With a few simple training tricks, and the right attire, pet parents can teach animal companions to be much more enthusiastic about playing outdoors in the winter.”

Here are a few ways to make the outdoors a little more entertaining this winter.

  • Playing a nice game of fetch or tug a war, without the leash, will help to get the blood flowing and keep your pets warm. It may even be helpful to reward your pet with treats after outdoor activities to further encourage interest in the chilly outdoors.
  • Investing in canine booties or paw protection may be the trick to getting your dogs outside this season. Salt and de-icing substances can be very irritating to most paws and can limit your pet’s enjoyment outside. If your pet is not a fan of a bootie, Musher’s Secret may be a good alternative to protecting those pads.
  • This can be the perfect time to sign your pets up for indoor obedience and agility training. Classes in a heated area can be just what you and your pets need!
  • Jackets and sweaters can be an important factor when it comes to enjoying the season. If you have a puppy or a smaller breed dog dress your pet in something warm when they are going to be outside. We suggest a waterproof fleece lined coat that covers both the animals back and underside.
  • Since your pet won’t be spending as much time outside in the winter, help you pet expel their energy mentally. There are great toys designed especially for this. Whether it is a chew toy, puzzle or a new trick your pet is sure to enjoy the interaction and activity.

No matter what activity you choose, just be sure to stay warm and enjoy your time outside. Remember if you are cold, your dog probably is too.