Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

Six fun ways to keep your dog entertained when it's cold outside.

by Kris Phillips

One of the best things about living in Denver is the awesome lifestyle that’s right outside our front doors. But sometimes it’s just too cold to enjoy it. So how do you keep your energetic dog from going crazy and dragging you along with her?

Simulate foraging. At their heart dogs are natural foragers. They’re always on the hunt for interesting things to eat- socks, tennies, undies. So give them something productive to do with that sniffer.

1)This Kong busy toy has been a life-saver with Floki’s unending want to play. We simply unscrew the top and fill with kibble. Then let him push it around the floor for and nosh on the goodies that fall out. To keep from over-feeding, we subtract whatever he gets in his ball from his dinner.

2) Or you can make it even easier by throwing a handful of carrots or kibble in the air and watch your dog barrel around the room like a furry Roomba.

3) Challenge your dogs nose by hiding cookies all over the house for him to sniff out.

Teach a new trick. Even old dogs love learning new tricks. Mental stimulation will keep both of you on the ball.

1.Teach your dog to pick up his toys. If he already knows “drop it” you can give your dog  a toy then guide him over to the toy bin and ask him to drop it in. Reward with LOTS and LOTS of praise & maybe even a cookie. Eventually, you’re pup will learn to pick up after himself.

2. Teach your dog the names of their toys. Start with just one toy and name it while you play. After a while and a lot of praise your dog will associate the name with the toy. After a while you can test her memory by having her pick it out of a pile of toys. Eventually, expand to more toys.

3. Play Hide & Seek. This one’s easy. Have your dog stay, or distract him with a treat while you run and hide in another room-behind a door or under a blanket works best. Then call his name and try to keep from laughing as your baffled pup seeks you out.

And at the end of the day, don’t forget to snuggle up and relax with your dog. Spend some time just scratching her favorite spot. This is a great evening routine that will help you both unwind and get ready for bed.

Bonus game: When all else fails your active pup, play a game of Hall Ball!

What’s your favorite way to sidetrack your crazy pup?




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