Do Pets Like Winter?

Pets can be a part of your life year round! Dogs love playing in the snow and even cats can learn to appreciate the cold -- especially while lying in the heater watching the birds outside. Find even more activities you can do, inside and out, with all kinds of pets in Pet Science. Between December 16, 2013 and January 5, 2014, keep track of all your pet activities as part of the Winter Learning Challenge.


  • What’s the most popular pet? Survey your family, friends and neighbors to find out what their favorite pets are. Graph your findings and report back to us about the pet they like best. If you want to know more about pet preferences, ask more questions like: how many many pets do you have?; what kind of pets do you have?; or, if you don’t have a pet, what kind of pet do you want?
  • It’s important to train your dog. If you’ve already mastered simple commands, like sit and stay, try these other easy tricks or go crazy and teach your dog something really inventive like a dance move. Remember to always give positive reinforcement for a job well done.
  • Don’t have a dog? Cats can learn tricks, too! Try teaching your cat to jump through a hoop. All you need is patience, animal treats and a willing animal.
  • What kind of dogs make the best sled dogs? Play this game to learn all about what it takes to create a great sled dog team.
  • People can use different animals to help them in their work. What jobs can pets do?
  • Keep your pets healthy all year round! Find out how to take care of your pet and what kinds of games you can play together.
  • Don’t have a pet? Stop by Just for Kids for coloring pages, activity sheets and games that feature cute pets.


  • Write a short story imagining what dogs think about.
  • Write a short story imagining what cats think about.
  • Try one of the activities in Snow Play, like making your own animal tracks with these animal footprint snowshoes. You will need:
    • 2 large pieces of cardboard (pizza boxes work well)
    • 4 long pieces of string
    • Marker/Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Boots
  1. Place the boots onto the cardboard. Make sure that the cardboard pieces are bigger than the boots. This will help you stay on top of the snow. Draw the shape of animal footprint you would like to make. Try a track from a real Illinois animal, make dog or cat footprints, or create your own monster tracks!
  2. Once you have drawn the outline, take your boots off and cut out the footprints. Then, place your boots back on to determine where you need to poke holes in the cardboard. You’ll need 4 holes—2 near your toes and 2 near your heel—on each snowshoe. Poke holes with scissors (ask an adult for help if you need to!) and one string through the holes at the toes and the other through the holes at the heel.
  3. When you’re ready to go out in the snow, tie your snowshoes on. Make tracks for others to find, pretend to be the animal whose tracks you have or just enjoy playing in the snow with ease!