Top Winter Activities for You and Your Dog

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Chance and Shannen

Instagram @pupsonthecoas

 

Keeping your pup active throughout the winter can be a tough task. Chance and I are lucky enough to live in Sunny San Diego, where the weather isn't something we have to think about on a day to day basis.

  

Chance is 9 weeks old, and still a baby! With only having his first sets of shots, he's not quite ready to adventure into the unknown on a leash. That being said, that doesn't mean we can't take him out and socialize him! So many people believe that you need to keep your puppy indoors until they hit the 3-4 month mark, and even though you shouldn't let your puppy down at parks and public places, that doesn't mean that you can't get him out to see what the world has to offer. Around this time of year, there's so much joy and cheer in the air, and to be able to experience that with your pooch is an amazing thing. 
 
Set up puppy play dates!
Puppy play dates are an awesome way to socialize your baby in a controlled setting. When the weather is chilly outside, you're going to have to come up with ways to get your pup's energy out indoors. Setting up puppy playtime with dogs you trust is an awesome way to get your pup socialized and exercised. 

 

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Bake homemade dog treats!
There's nothing better than staying indoors when the weather is frightful. Now, baking can be fun for both you AND your pup! There are so many simple, healthy dog treat recipes you can create in under an hour! I LOVE making these for my friend's pups around the holidays. Try this simple holiday treat recipe and dogs LOVE! I use this recipe by The Scrumptious Pumpkin, called "Calvin's Christmas Cookies"
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup rye flour (or substitute rice flour or all-purpose flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 3½ tablespoons olive oil (or substitute organic canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons organic dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
 
Instructions:
  1. Add the flour, baking powder, applesauce, honey, and olive oil to a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about half an inch thick. Cut treats with a cookie cutter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Firmly press a few pieces of chopped cranberries and pumpkin seeds into the top of each cookie.
  5. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until treats are firm to the touch.
  6. Turn off oven and open oven door. Allow cookies to cool in the oven, about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Storage: cookies will keep for several days when stored in a covered airtight container in a cool, dry, shaded location. Cookies may also be frozen: separate treats with parchment paper and store in an airtight covered container.
Easy!
 
Grab a photo with Santa!
(of course, with hopes that your pup isn't terrified of this man in the giant red suit.) 
These photos always come out adorable! It can be an awesome tradition for you and your pooch to get that photo every year as he gets older. It can make an awesome Christmas card, and the whole family can be included!
This little photo shoot doesn't have to be limited to Santa's lap. Plan a fun photo shoot with your pup using props like bows, Christmas lights, Santa hats, all that fun, festive stuff!

 

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A Christmas scavenger hunt!
This activity can be fun no matter what climate you're in! If you're in the snow, snow is a perfect tool to hide toys, treats, and bones around for your dog to find. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, and scent work is an awesome way to get your dogs' senses working, and keeping exercise fun and light. If you're stuck indoors, this is still a ton of fun! I've heard of people hidings dogs Christmas gifts around the tree/living room, and your pup then has to work to find it, how fun!

 

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All in all, including your dog in all the craziness of the holidays, can make any holiday brighter. Chance and I have been having so much fun this holiday season, and i can't wait to grow our holiday traditions. After all, they are members of our family!

 

You can also follow:

@shannenstandiford 

@life.with.chance

 


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