We love winter at my house! It may be hard for many to believe, but we are most active in the winter and most likely the most fit as well. Today I want to bark a bit about what we do and also offer some important tips for your own pups if they are out in the winter months.
Get some good winter toys for your dog for starters. Many of the normal toys are made of plastics that will crack and crumble in freezing temperatures causing danger to your dog. Tennis balls are great toys to use, and we have this soft rubber Frisbee that doesn’t break in the cold. Bailie loves to take it and play keep away with me in the yard.
Chase is our favorite game all year, no matter what the weather. In the winter months it also helps to keep us warm in the cold temperatures. Don’t forget dogs still get thirsty in the winter months. We need fresh water breaks as much in the cold as in the warmer weather. One reason is that we are exercising, but also with the heat on in the house, the air is dry and we get dehydrated. If you don’t have a heated water bowl (probably a Minnesota thing), put out a fresh bowl of water for your pups to use while they are outdoors playing and bring it back in when they come back inside.
Digging in snow is a great activity for dogs. Toss a toy out and let your dog dig it up. We love to dig, and digging in a pile of snow is harmless and tires us out! Bailie drops her own Frisbee in the snow so she can have the fun of digging it out. Obviously, deeper snow is more fun, but so far this year we only have about five inches on the ground.
Make sure your dogs paws are in good shape. The dry air can dry out paws, the chemicals on sidewalks and roads can cause pad issues, and if you have icy snow it is easy to cut open a paw pad. Make sure the pads are in order or have your pup wear some boots.
My sisters and I have plenty of fur and don’t wear coats, but if your dog doesn’t have a good winter coat, or perhaps is an older or smaller dog, bundle them up. We play chase like crazy dogs and really get heated up, but if your dog isn’t a “winter” dog, they will need the proper coat even when they play chase or fetch. Pay attention to the temperature before you go out with your dog or before you send them out to play in the yard. Here at my house we have lots of below zero weather which is very cold. We all still love to go out, but maybe only for five to ten minutes. Don’t leave your dog out in extreme cold as they can get frost bite or worse.
Last but not least, go out with your dog for walks, it will do you both good, or supervise your dog out playing in a fenced area. Don’t let your dog roam loose. Not only are roads dangerous, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and other bodies of water are dangerous. Your dog may think the water is frozen when it is not and can fall in and drown. Water is always dangerous, but in the winter months, it is tricky even for humans, so don’t let your dog even have the chance to fall through any ice.
Now, bundle up, get outside and have some good old fun in the winter! There is no excuse to let fitness slide just because it is cold outside!
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!