Dogs love romping around in the forest. Not only is it a change of scenery from the backyard, but it also gives your dog the chance to explore loads of new scents and views. Given all the science backing the benefits of nature on humans – from stress relief to better concentration to enhanced creativity – it only seems right to extend the benefits to your furry pal, too.
Unleash Your Pup's Inner Artist
Let your dog get creative with colorful pup-safe, washable paints. Spread out a tarp, lay out a piece of posterboard or canvas and allow your dog to express himself through painting. Dip his paws in the paint or use a pet-friendly inkpad, like ColorBox Paw Prints. Clean your dog's paws thoroughly when he finishes his work of art.
Have a Baking Day
Winter and baking just go together, so why not plan a baking day with your pooch pal? Head online where you'll find loads of yummy faves, like Peanut Butter Dog Bone Treats and Chow Chow Cheddar Stars. Your pup will happily nap the afternoon away with a full belly and a smile.
Go to an Indoor Dog Park
Get out of the house and make your way to an indoor dog park where your dog can run, jump, slide and play with other dogs to burn off his pent-up energy. One to check out is House of Ruff in Seattle, which dubs itself an "indoor canine social club." Another indoor dog park to add to your dog's bucket list is Tail Wags Playground in Columbus, Ohio.
Snow days were made for skijoring, a cross between cross-country skiing and dog sledding. It's also the "best dog sport you've never heard of," according to Rover.com. Put a harness on your dog, clip into your skis and glide across the snow as your dog runs up ahead. As you can imagine, skijoring is better suited for medium to large athletic dogs.
Do 'Downward Dog' With Your Dog
If you love your dog and you love yoga, then dog yoga may be for you. Doga, as it's called, is a great way to incorporate your dog into your relaxation and meditative practices. Yoga studios, like YogaForce in Burlingame, Calif., offer regular doga classes that enable pups and their owners to work on a few poses while bonding with each other.
Just because there's snow on the ground, that doesn't mean your favorite furry pal doesn't want to play fetch with you. Use a brightly colored toy or ball so he doesn't spend more time hunting for it in the snow than retrieving it and returning it to you. It's also a great opportunity for both of you to get outside and get some exercise.
Road Trip to the World's Largest Pet Store
Your dog will sit, stay and roll over when he finds out you're road tripping to Lancaster, Pa., to spend the day at That Pet Place, the world's largest pet store. There, you'll find more than 88,000 square feet of dog toys, rawhide bones, fleece dog blankets and colorful dog collars. Even a trip to your local pet store will have your pup jumping for joy.
Snuggle Up With a Movie
Treat your pup to a dog bone (or three) and snuggle up in front of the TV for a doggie movie marathon. A few flicks to queue up include A Dog's Purpose, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Air Bud: Golden Retriever. What better way to spend a cold, wintry evening than by binge-watching a handful of canine classics with your furry BFF.
Treat Your Doggie Diva to a Shopping Spree
Release your pup's inner fashionista with a doggie shopping spree. Head online or visit your local pet shop for warm, colorful sweaters, adorable booties and insulated winter parkas. Get a jump on Halloween by shopping for costumes and accessories that will wow parade and costume contest judges. Look to Etsy for a fantastic selection of stylish, handmade duds for your pup.