Not everyone can enjoy warm weather all year long. While we envy the addresses that some of our WINPRO pouches head out to, we love callingAnkeny, Iowa our headquarters. We, like many other dog owners in our network, are currently (and will be for the foreseeable future) in a winter wonderland that includes snow, slush, and extremely low temperatures. We as humans have learned to adapt to this kind of weather but what about our dogs? Follow these tips on how to keep your dog safe but active during the winter months.
There’s a reason the first quarter of the year is the slowest for many businesses – no one is out shopping! Just as you tend to hunker down and hibernate in the winter, it’s easy for your dog to do the same. Here are some ideas, though, to keep them active while remaining safely indoors.
The easiest thing to do to keep your dog active is to play with them; nothing beats a good old-fashioned game of fetch! Take your play session, though, to the next level by throwing the ball or toy up a flight of stairs. Adding in this obstacle will help your dog (especially if it’s a puppy)work on their agility in addition to upping the intensity of the activity.
Dogs want to learn, and they do want to listen. Use these long stretches of time indoors to get in some training time with your dog. It’s in a dog’s nature to obey their pack leader – their master – you. So take advantage of the one-on-one time with your dog that the winter offers and teach your furry friend either the basics or some new tricks.
You can combine this one with our last tip and enroll your pup in an obedience class. Try out a training class that includes socializing your dog and basic training. If your dog isn’t in need of training, they probably would at least like a change of scenery. Take them along for a car ride or over for a visit with friends and family. Dogs love to explore and especially after being cooped up inside for the last few weeks, they’d love to get out for a puppy playdate.
We understand that you can’t stay inside all the time, so when you venture out with your dog, keep these things in mind.
If you do choose to venture out into the snow, keep your dog active. Play fetch, go for a run, or just otherwise keep your dog moving, especially in the lower temperatures of if your dog is walking through the snow or ice. Encouraging a high activity level helps keep the heartrate up and the blood pumping through their body and limbs. This will help them be able to stay outside longer without cold-related issues.
Depending on your dog’s size and breed, they might not be physically able to handle the winter weather as well as other dogs. This is where things like dog sweaters, coats, and booties come in. Especially with smaller dogs, these sorts of items can make a huge difference for your dog.
The one thing that’s tough when it comes to your dog is that they can’t directly tell you if something is wrong. Therefore, keep an eye on the clock and on your dog when spending long periods of time outside this winter. Watch for limping, paw licking, and lethargy. These could be cases that your dog is too cold and that it’s time to go back inside and warm up. Oftentimes these symptoms can come on quick so be sure to keep an eye on your dog's demeanor and cut fetch time short if necessary.