What Are Some Fun Cold Weather Activities You Can Enjoy With Your Dog?
Most people enjoy living in a region where there are four distinct seasons. With a change of seasons, there is renewed excitement for outdoor activities. However, if you live in a colder climate, it may not always be convenient or fun to always exercise outside with your dog when winter arrives. Although winter walks can be beautiful, they often result in cold toes and fingers for you and your four-legged buddy. Fortunately, there are several activities you can enjoy with your dog in cold weather.
Trying to stay upright on icy surfaces, dealing with cold wind, rain or snow hitting your face and soaking wet clothes are just a few of the reasons why it is not difficult to understand why many people would prefer to simply stay inside by a fire while sipping on a hot beverage.
Understandably, the cold winter months can also be very difficult on your dog as well. When your dog stays inside during the winter, they are not as active. This can result in them gaining some excess weight.
It has been estimated that over 50% of the dogs in the United States have been diagnosed as overweight or obese by their veterinarian. This diagnosis can lead to an increase in injury, various diseases, and a shorter life span. Even if your dog looks comfortable and peaceful sleeping for 12 to 16 hours a day, it is more likely he/she would prefer being active. This is one of the reasons why it is important not only for you to remain healthy, but to also ensure your furry friend is also active and healthy.
Dogs, like people, can get cabin fever when they stay inside too long and this can translate into destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture or barking excessively. So, if you dislike having to walk your dog during the winter, there are other fun cold weather activities the two of you can enjoy that will mentally and stimulate your dog.
Does your dog enjoy different challenges and staying active? If so, you can sign your pup up for agility classes. Agility training for dogs is a lot of fun, and the two of you will be work together to maneuver around obstacles along an agility course that is timed. This is an excellent way to not only provide your dog with a challenge but also a great way for him to be able to channel his energy.
During the summer, dog agility training takes place outside. However, during the winter months, the training takes place indoors. You can contact a local club in your area for more information.
You may have seen those viral online videos that show dogs running on treadmills. Believe it or not, this is a great way for your dog to get some indoor exercise during the winter. You can utilize a human treadmill or a doggie treadmill.
The best way to exercise your dog in this manner is to begin slowly. Keep your dog on a leash, and use their favorite treats as a way to keep them motivated.
After your dog becomes comfortable with the pace, gradually increase the speed on the treadmill. Keep a close eye on your dog while he/she is on the treadmill. Never force your dog to stay on the treadmill, and do not tie your dog’s leash to the treadmill.
There are two factors that are required to make this a fun and enjoyable cold weather activity for your dog. One factor is that you and your dog will need access to stairs, and the second factor is that your dog is not prone to or suffer from hip problems.
You and your dog can simply run up and down the stairs, or you can throw their favorite ball or toy to the top of the stairs. This can be a cardio filled game of fetch that you both can enjoy.
Keep a close eye on your dog, and stop the game if your dog is showing any signs of discomfort or distress.
If you and your dog do love being outside during the coldest season of the year, there are several outdoor activities the two of you can enjoy as well.
HIKING IN THE SNOW
Nothing can top a winter weather activity like taking a hike in the woods after a coating of fresh snow has fallen. This can be a very serene and beautiful experience.
Even though many people do not take advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer, this would be the perfect time for you and your dog to hike in an off-leash area. Your dog will have the freedom to run around in an open space without encountering too many people or other pets.
Dog parks are known for being overly crowded in the summer and this can be difficult for dogs with anxiety issues. However, in the winter, fewer people visit with their pets. Take advantage of small winter crowds and spend time with your dog at the park.
Many dog owners naturally migrate inside once winter arrives, and this can lead to weight gain in both human and canine. Get creative with cold weather activities that are fun and healthy for you and your pet.