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Keeping Your Dog Active in Sub-Zero Temperatures

We know that as Minnesotans we’re supposed to be tough during these colder months… but can we just say that it’s darn cold outside! 🥶Don’t get us wrong, we can handle it. We’re bundled up in our warmest winter jackets and boots, avoiding going outside unless it involves work or the grocery store, and letting our cars heat up for a solid 20 minutes before hitting the road. To all you dog-parents out there though, our poor pooches are stuck inside way more than they like. If you’ve been trying to get by with tossing a tennis ball down the hallway a million times a day and your dog is starting to show signs of anxiety and/or claustrophobia, check this out: we’ve got a list of indoor, off-leash options to exercise and socialize your furry companion during the winter months!

Indoor Dog Parks

Stone Mountain Pet Lodge has locations around the Twin Cities, and from December through March their Blain and Brooklyn Park locations open up 5500 square-foot indoor dog parks. We recommend calling ahead — sometimes they close the indoor area for events. You will need to provide proof that your pooch is up-to-date on vaccinations (if you’re our client, we can get you this info in a jiffy!) and there’s a $10 entry charge.

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Set to open sometime this month, this indoor/outdoor off-leash dog park is also a tap house that serves drinks and food. They’ll be located on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis. Enjoy a nice warm beverage and some apps while letting your dogs run around in a fun, supervised area? We’re sold. Keep an eye out for their opening!

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Indoor Pools

The Dog Tank is a 45-foot indoor pool in Mendota Heights. This is a great way to keep your dog active during both the cold and warm months. The Dog Tank offers classes, private swim, private lessons, and group swims. Your dog can learn to dock dive, or just enjoy the opportunity to swim. Pool rentals start at $36, and swim lessons start at $41.

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The Paw Pet Resort is a bit of a drive from the Twin Cities (it’s located in Mankato), but they have quite a few private, public and party indoor swim options. They also provide doggy life jackets if needed. Open swim is $15/dog, and private swim is $60 for 45 minutes (and up to five dogs at a time).

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If you have smaller dogs or a puppy, check out Dog Day Getaway in Apple Valley. They host playgroups on Sundays for $8/dog ($5/dog for any additional pups) and divide pets up by age and weight. The Tiny Tots playgroup is for dogs under 15 pounds who may be a bit intimidated by larger breeds. Small dog playgroups are for dogs under 30 pounds who are more comfortable interacting with others. They also have a puppy playground for any pooches less than nine months.

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Fresh Air Training in Edina also has playgroups for small dogs (less than 20 pounds) on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As with all other indoor/off-leash sponsors, you’ll need to provide proof of vaccinations. Sessions are $10 per dog, but they offer discounted rates if you purchase multiple sessions. Large breeds are welcome if they have a history of being shy around other dogs.

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Dreadlocks for Dingoes in Lowertown hosts puppy playtime on Saturdays, and FUNgility has non-competitive drop-in sessions on Sunday nights at Stone Mountain Pet Lodge in Brooklyn Park.

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Dog-Friendly Breweries

Ok, so this option isn’t exactly exercise-related. But is it not awesome that you can enjoy a date night or drinks with friends at a brewery, and bring your pup with? If this is something you and your doggo would enjoy, you need to check out the Mpls-St. Paul Dog-Friendly Indoor Brewery Pass. For only $25, you get a pass that allows you one free beer at 17 Twin Cities breweries. At each of these breweries, dogs are allowed (on-leash) inside! If you just want the free beer and you don’t have a dog, you can still purchase a pass. If that weren’t cool enough, purchase of a pass benefits Ruff Start Rescue. So raise your glass, kiss your pooch, and toast to a good cause! 🍻

Buy The Pass Here

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