I posted the picture above to represent the winter season. In reality, I live in the South but this picture symbolizes how we deal with the cold season. There are many pet parents like myself that feel guilty when our active life with our pets decreases. Our pets get lazy, a little overweight and bored. Well, I want to help all of us out of our runt. No matter what’s going on in any of our lives, let’s make sure one of our priorities is keeping our pets happy through vested activities.
The winter season puts our dogs at risk for many illnesses. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates over half of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese and have an increased risk of injury, disease and shortened life expectancy. Yes FiFi looks cute and cozy in their pet beds or your bed but believe me having some exercise with their favorite person will make them come alive. It will also prolong their health and lives. So what are these activities you say. I have 6 great activities you and your fur baby will enjoy.
Six Exercises Your Dog Will Love
Dog or human treadmills work well to exercise your dog. Start slowly with your dog on a leash and use high-value treats as motivation. After your dog is comfortable walking slowly, gradually increase the speed to a trot. Always stay with your dog to watch him closely. Never tether your dog to a treadmill or force him to stay on it. If your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy the treadmill, find another form of exercise.
2. Stair Climbing
If your dog is young, healthy and not prone to hip problems, throw a ball or toy up to the top of carpeted stairs for an aerobic game of fetch. Just be careful not to overdo exercising on the stairs. Stair climbing is also a quick way to develop your leg muscles quickly.
3. Train with Tricks
Try some new training techniques or reinforce any existing commands or training that need more work. Teach your dog some tricks. If your dog already knows the basic tricks, try teaching him something to help out around the house, such as picking up his toys and putting them in a basket. Most dogs like to learn something new and it’s a great way to bond with your dog.
These gyms are popping up all over the country and if there’s one close to you, they offer various ways to exercise your dog. Some even have swimming pools and indoor dog parks.
5. Dog Walkers
If you really hate walking outside in the winter or don’t have enough time to exercise your dog, hire a recommended and reliable dog walker. Make sure they are from a formal company. And also make sure they are insured and bonded. Check out the services we offer : HWHD Services & Fees. This will give you an idea of what activities you would want no matter what part of the country reside.
6. Play Dates
Get together with friends who have dogs that want to exercise, play and socialize. Better yet, host a play date in your home and make some homemade dog treats for your dog to share with his friends.
Bonus: More Winter Season Activities
Anyone live up north, the Midwest or Canada. Here are some other Great Ideas!
1. Snow Hikes
Head out for a hike in a wooded area after a fresh snowfall. It’s beautiful and serene since most people don’t take advantage of hiking trails in the winter. It’s also the perfect time to use off-leash areas where your dog can have more freedom without running into too many other dogs or people.
2. Sledding and Snowball Fights
Have your dog join you for some childhood fun in the snow.
3. Dog Parks
If your dog gets overwhelmed by crowded dog parks, try visiting in the winter when there are fewer people and dogs at the park. Hint: Pro Petsitters love an afternoon in dog parks.
4. Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing
Enjoy these sports if you have a snow-loving dog.
Have you ever heard of Skijoring? Skijoring is having your dog pull you through the snow while you’re wearing skis. It sounds like a lot of fun if you have a snow-loving dog that can safely pull you.
Winter Advice To Keep Your Dog Safe During The Cold
Short-haired, small or elderly dogs may need a water-repellent coat to help keep them warm.
Trim the hair between your dog’s toes to reduce snow and ice buildup.
Dog booties can keep paws dry and free from ice, salt or de-icing chemicals
If your dog hates booties, apply Musher’s Secret wax to his paws before going outside to prevent painful ice balls from forming between his toes. Musher’s Secret also protects paws from hot pavement or beach sand in the summer.
If you don’t use booties, clean your pup’s paws with a warm wet cloth when you return home to remove any salt, de-icing chemicals or ice balls. Also wipe down their legs and belly.
Use reflective wear or clip-on LED collar lights if you walk outside after dark.
Consult with your vet if you have any concerns about exercising your dog outside when it’s cold.