The dark, dreary days of winter make staying indoors much more appealing. Coupled with the onslaught of cookies, parties, and big meals, staying committed to our regular outdoor activities and exercise can often fall by the wayside.
Winter is a great time to get outside, actually, since the weather keeps most people inside. With the right gear, winter outings can be enjoyable, especially if they involve our dogs. After reading this list of ideas to keep you going through the cold months, you and your dog will be eager to get active outside together.
Winter Activities for You and Your Pet
- Set Goals. Register for that marathon or half that’s been on your bucket list for years. It’ll get you outdoors and training through the dark cold winter days. Getting outside is the hard part. Once you’re moving, you’ll be glad that you’re doing something healthy. Perhaps you want to maintain your weight during the holiday season while not being too restrictive on your treats (or your dog’s!). Whatever the goal, decide on something achievable and realistic and share it with your friends so they help keep you accountable.
- Sign up for a race. Between Thanksgiving and New Year, there are heaps of races ranging in distances going on everywhere and a lot of them are dog-friendly! Still feeling nervous? Ask a friend to join you and train together. The Kurgo Quantum Leash is great since it can be clipped around your waist to allow for hands-free running.
- Schedule recurring dog walking dates. Set up a weekly time to meet your friend and their dog for a walk. Discover new parks in your neighborhoods or explore the region for hikes you never knew existed. Regular meetups with a friend is a great way to ensure that you and your pup continue to get outside, even if the weather is not ideal.
- Pick up a new sport. Hitting the trails in the winter is fantastic. Not only are there fewer crowds, but what is more beautiful than snow-covered trees and mountains? Enjoy the idyllic scenery snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. These are both great winter activities to do with your dog and trying something new is exciting and will make you more eager to get out into the cold weather. Plus, if you like it, then you’ll look for new places to do it again and again! Just keep in mind that staying hydrated in winter is just as important as it is in the summer months, we just don’t notice as much since it’s not hot. Bring a portable bowl like the Kurgo Collaps A Bowl clipped to your backpack for your pup.
- Join a local running club. Running clubs generally have runs scheduled most days of the week and welcome runners of all abilities. Many plan fun runs during the holiday season, like a Thanksgiving morning trail run or a Christmas light run. Many running clubs, especially trail running clubs, love, and welcome dogs.
- Find a local hiking group on Facebook. These are informal groups that plan regular outings in your area and some are even dog-specific. There are groups for women only, regional hiking groups, running groups. You name it, it’s probably somewhere out there on Facebook. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new friends with other dogs and discover some new trails.
- Meet an Instagram friend IRL. If you’ve connected with a few accounts in your area via Instagram, plan a real-life meeting together. Instagram is responsible for forging some incredible communities and relationships. With the dog niche so popular, there are certainly dog accounts in your area. Discover them by searching a local hashtag, like #pnwonderdogs, as an example. If your local area doesn’t have a dog-specific hashtag, then search by location.
Have you heard about Rural King’s Pet Food Price Guarantee? All the pet food brands you love at the lowest prices, guaranteed. No subscriptions, no waiting for delivery, just the lowest prices on all pet foods that you can pick up at Rural King. And, if you find a better pet food price somewhere else, we will match that price. Go ahead, give it a try! We’re even priced lower than Chewy and Amazon!
We LOVE pets at Rural King! Some stores even allow you to shop with your pet and grab a free pet treat on us. Call or visit your local Rural King for more information.
If you like learning about fun pet activities, healthy pet-friendly recipes, and more, make sure to check out our Pets category on our blog.
Jen Sotolongo is a writer and photographer and runs Long Haul Trekkers, a blog about independent, responsible travel with a pet. Over the past 1.5 years, she and her partner have taken their dog, Sora on a cycle tour spanning across Europe and South America, proving that adventures can include your dog, no matter where in the world they may be.