Posted Fri 09 Jun 2023 at 07:44am
There’s no doubt that winter is here. And while the temperature may have plummeted a few degrees, and we get fewer sunny days and more cold winds, there’s no shortage of fun, pet-friendly winter activities, places to discover, and new things to try.
For pet lovers and owners like us, our favourite fun-loving pets don’t just warm our hearts all year round; they come with health and mood-boosting benefits that keep us active, creative, and spontaneous. And just like people, pets have different interests and personalities too, so when choosing or trying an activity, make sure it’s something that suits their style.
So to get you through the winter days, here’s our ultimate list of events, indoor-outdoor activities, and stay-at-home DIY ideas.
Dog-Friendly Winter Events
There’s nothing better than going to events where humans can enjoy themselves, and dogs can have a great time too. Here’s our list of favourite dog-friendly events happening around the country over the winter months.
Food & Wine Experiences
Wine down with your pooch
Pack your bags; it’s wine time! We’ve rounded up the best dog-friendly wineries across Australia. Enjoy a glass of Jacob Stein’s award-winning shiraz from Megalong Creek Estate as your pooch explores the open grounds of this boutique winery. Indulge in vegan-friendly wines from Oakvale, with snacks and water for your furry friend upon arrival!
Why not take a stroll through the lush vineyards of Dog Ridge Cellar Door? As the name suggests, this small winery welcomes all pooches and has over 90 acres of land for your pup to explore. If you’re in Western Australia, then the award-winning wines from Cape
Naturaliste Vineyard is a must-try. Your pooch will be rewarded with a treat on arrival and have its photo added to their pooch wall of fame!
Go on a puppy pub crawl
Why head home early this winter? One of the best pet-friendly winter activities is to bring your best furry mate along for dinner and a nightcap! Kick off with a burger and a drink from East Village Balmain while your pup orders from the delicious doggy menu. Then take a walk to The Balmain Hotel, where your pup can enjoy a drink from its complimentary water bowl. Finish your night on a high note at DiCK’s Hotel as you sip on a cold glass of wine in the outdoor seating area with your little mate.
If you’re not in Sydney, head out and explore some of the best dog-friendly pubs in your area.
Live out your Willy Wonka dreams
Take your pup on a date
Get crafty with some beer
Dog-loving, passionate beer enthusiasts can now bring their pooches on an amazing beer-tasting journey at some of the best dog-friendly breweries in Australia. Hit the road to Yulli’s Brew, or if you’re in Queensland, visit Brouhaha Brewery and try their Strawberry Rhubarb Sour beer made from natural yoghurt. If you’re in South Australia, stop by Little Bang Brewing Company or Barossa Valley Brewing to enjoy food and beer pairings.
Entertaining Outdoor Adventures
Become an expert at snow sports with your pup
Skijoring, Dog Sledding, Snowshoeing. Got a snow-loving winter dog? Breeds like Siberian Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, Alaskan Malamutes, and St. Bernards love, love, love snow play. Skijoring is bound to get their tail wagging if your pooch can handle pulling. This pet-friendly winter activity involves the dog and human being attached via a bungee leash. The human uses cross-country skis, and the two work together to move along the snow.
For a more relaxing activity, try SnowShoeing instead! All you’ll need is a pair of snowshoes. Try a hands-free leash to get the most out of this pet-friendly activity.
Before hitting the slopes, it’s best to ask your vet about the appropriate gear and which winter sports are suitable for your pet.
Explore a pet-friendly winter wonderland
Swap the fast-paced city life for a relaxing weekend in the Snowy Mountains with your best friend at Bimblegumbie Mountain Lodge, a dog-friendly eco-retreat in Thredbo Valley. It’s just 5 minutes from the ski tube slope, or you can explore the nearby walking tracks with your furry companion.
Dash through the snow with your pooch at one of Australia’s best snow play destinations! With loads of dog-friendly accommodations to choose from, Dinner Plain is the ideal place to try some of the best pet-friendly winter activities.
Quick tip — While Dinner Plain welcomes all furry friends, dogs must be registered with your local council to visit and are required to be on a leash when in public.
Keep your steps up with these dog-friendly hikes
Adventure with your pooch through the late wintertime and witness the vibrant wildflowers of Wolli Creek Regional Park. This 20-30 minute walk is great for beginners. With birdlife and a range of native plants, your pup will have a field day when sniffing all that nature has to offer.
Raise your pup’s fitness levels by navigating through the terrain of La La Falls. For a theatrical experience, it’s best to visit after heavy rainfall, as this is when the waterfalls are most powerful. The large grassy area is perfect for picnics and playtime with your pooch.
Take your pooch on a jam-packed 3.6 km adventure at Noble Falls Walk trail. There are even sections of the walk where your pup can stop for a swim. To rest and recharge, check out the BBQ or picnic area in the reserve or head down to the Noble Falls Tavern to their dog-friendly beer garden and balcony.
Challenge yourself this winter and try to tick off all the dog-friendly hikes near you!
Relax with your pooch near the big screen
Snack on some pup-corn and bring your pooch to Five Star Cinemas (Yatala), Brisbane’s first dog-friendly drive-in cinema. This pet-friendly winter activity is paw-fect if you’re looking for a cosy night whilst getting some fresh air. You can choose to sit in either the comfort of your car or in the outdoor seating area. Be sure to pack some pillows and blankets for that at-home feeling. Dogs will need to be on a leash at all times.
Shop till you drop
Whip out the credit card and take your furry companion to Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia’s first pet-friendly shopping centre! With over 500 pet-friendly businesses in the precinct, you’ll be able to shop all day long. Participating stores will have a paw stuck on their door.
Or, make your way through the best dog-friendly markets in Australia! Fresh local produce, unique handmade crafts and mouthwatering culinary delights await you and your pup.
Adventure out to the Blue Mountains
Begin your adventure with a walk through Birdwood Gully Springwood. This dog-friendly walk in the Blue Mountains has waterfalls, glow worms and native foliage that will keep your pup energised. Be sure to pack some water, as this walk will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
Once you’re done exploring, you can head to Eagle Hawk Lookout, where you and your pooch can catch a distant view of the Three Sisters and watch the sunset over a thermos of hot tea.
If you need some pet-friendly accommodation, Secret Garden Cottage in Katoomba is a cosy holiday cottage with a securely fenced yard that allows pets to sleep inside.
Cosy Stay-at-Home Activities
Whip up the paw-fect treat
Lockdown isn’t the only time when you can bake up a storm… Warm up in winter with the smell of freshly baked treats. What are you waiting for? Put on your oven mitts, and let’s get to it! For a fancy sit down meal with your pooch, make a delicious Muttloaf and pair it with a fresh Watermelon Cocktail (for both you and your pup). If your pup still has room for more, finish the meal with a Peanut Butter Delight Biscuit.
Have a barkday coming up? Practice your pupcake-making skills with these recipes:
Cheese and wine night with your dog
Want to enjoy a cheese and wine night without having people over? Well, this is the ideal pet-friendly winter activity for you! Make your dog a barkuterie board – a charcuterie board but for dogs! Load up a cheese board with strawberries, apple slices, cheese sticks, sardines, peanut butter dips, chicken strips, and whatever else you can find. Pour a glass of wine for yourself, and voila, the perfect night in.
At-home pet pamper night
Keep your furbaby looking fresh from head to paw with an at-home spa night! Begin with a gentle massage to help them feel relaxed; then, it’s time to scrub a-dub-dub!
For dogs, try putting peanut butter on the side of the bathtub. Your pet’s paws need more TLC during the wintertime, so keep them hydrated with paw balm. End the glow-up process by clipping their nails and reward your furbaby with a treat!
Keep your pooch zen with ‘Doga’
Yes, you read that right- dogs can do yoga! ‘Doga’ can help improve your dog’s circulation and calm its anxiety. Before you begin, you may want to learn a thing or two from Secret, an Australian Shepherd dog who is a ‘doga’ pro!
Feel relaxed with these simple poses:
Shop online and treat your furry friend
Running out of treats? Need fur-shionable winter clothes? Or are your pet’s toys hanging on by its threads? Boot up your laptop, hop online, and get shopping!
Put on your creative hat and DIY
Spent hours trawling through online websites but couldn’t find the perfect bandana? Head out to Spotlight, buy your desired pattern and watch this tutorial to get started. If you have leftover fabric, make a matching collar to complete your pet’s outfit.
You can even upcycle old toys and make something new to entertain your pet. Grab a t-shirt, tennis ball, and scissors and create a new ball and tug toy. Does your dog love plastic water bottles? Add some leftover fabric to make a ‘new’ and improved water bottle toy. Does your cat love playing with a laser pointer? Make a fishing pole for a safer option that’s just as much fun!
Set up an indoor scavenger hunt
Put your pet’s detective skills to the test with an exciting scavenger hunt. Scattering treats around the house is an easy way of boosting your pet’s enrichment. Got a rabbit? Try hiding its food inside of an object- this will get its senses going! Use some of your furry companion’s favourite toys to spice it up.