We tend to forget that during the winter our dogs don't get as much exorcise as they normally would during the warmer seasons. That's why it's important to find things for you and your pet to do when it's cold outside. Lack of exorcise can put on extra winter weight that might be hard to burn off come the spring. Also, keep in mind that fluxuating weight gain and loss could lead to some serious health risks and complications. You want to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your dog all year long, so here are some suggestions for fun in the snow with your pooch.
Dogs, like children, love to run through fresh fallen snow and while they don't make snow angels, they will still have a good time if you let them run loose through a field of snow covered grass. You might consider taking your excited pup down to the park or playground where there are slides. Lead your dog up to the top of the jungle gym and guide them down the slippery slide into a mound of snow. You may have to clear the slide first, and it might take a try or two to show your dog how to do it, but once he or she gets the hang of it they'll be running back for more.
Sledding is also fun for dogs. No, I don't mean put your dog in a sled and drag them down a hill. Dogs love to tug on things, and that makes them perfect for sled pulling. Large breeds across the world are even trained to do this professionally. If you have a child, let the child sit in the sled and encourage your family pet to take off up and down the hills of let's say a golf course. Granted, smaller breeds can't really pull large or heavy things, but they too have options.
Medium and small breeds are ideal for winter hunting, but if that's not your thing then a Frisbee will suffice just as well. Just like in the summer if you toss an item your dog loves they will chase after it, and most certainly bring it back to you. If you're fortunate enough to have a significant amount of property, or a patch of land where you can take your pet for a walk you might want to bury their favorite toy somewhere and encourage them to sniff it out. This will both exorcise your dogs concentration skills, and their bodies. Not to mention, they'll be pleased to have a reward for their efforts under the snow.
Everyday your pet should have at least twenty minutes of running or jumping around but should not exceed forty five minutes in the snow. A dog can get carried away when he or she is having fun, and my not realize that they are getting too cold. You wouldn't want to have to take your dog to the vet to treat a cold because they were outside too long. A popular source of aerobics you and your pooch can practice together inside the house is treadmill running. Many trainers use this technique to help burn off some extra energy in hyper large breed puppies. Just put your pooch paws down on the machine, and turn it on the lowest setting. Your dog will pick up what to do instinctively almost instantly.
Of course you can always reduce the risk of over exposure to the cold by picking up a nice warm doggie jacket, or some puppy snow boots. There are a number of dog accessories that will adequately protect your pet from harsh weather conditions. You definitely want to keep your dogs paws protected, especially large breeds, and you should avoid going in and out of the house or car multiple times in the day. Just like us, the constant change of temperature can cause the sniffles. More importantly never leave your dog unattended in a car or vehicle. In the summertime the inside of your car can become an air tight inferno leading to heat stroke, but in the winter that same car can become an ice box very quickly leading to hypothermia and even death.
So keep your pets safe, and healthy this winter and all that follow. While your at it, make sure that you have fun with your whimsical pet. If they see you're happy, they too will be happy.
Published at: PuppyLaPu.com