Cold Weather Activities For Your Pet
By Dr. Janet Weistock, Veterinarian
As cooler weather approaches and temperatures continue to drop, it doesn’t mean exercise and activity for our furry friends has to come to a halt. There are plenty of options to keep your pet healthy and active during the colder months.
If you’re looking for some outdoor activities, long walks are great for both you and your dog to get out and see some beautiful local areas. There are many trails and paths that are dog friendly and free. Just limit outdoor walks, hikes and snowball chases to no more then 30 minutes at a time. Do remember, if it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your pet.
With colder weather we should take some precautions with our pets outside. Dogs have an undercoat to their fur, which aids in their temperature regulation, but if it’s cold outside, a jacket and even boots will help protect them from the cold temperatures and cold ground. Some smaller breads and thinner coated dogs will definitely need a coat sooner then a husky might.
If you’re hoping to stay indoors and out of the cold, there are different types of public inside facilities to help pets stay active. These include indoor swimming facilities and indoor agility courses, which provide your pets with physical and mental activity at the same time.
As an alternative to public facilities, you can create obstacles for your furry friends in your own home. For example, you can purchase a pop-up tunnel for them to run through. Or plungers from the hardware store could make good poles to teach them to weave through. If you have a multi-level house you can play games of hide and seek, catch me if you can, or fetch up and down a flight of stairs, keeping them (and you) moving and active. Hallways make good runways for a game of fetch or even tug of war. Playing hide and seek with treats or their favorite toy challenges and entertains them at the same time. The more creative you are, the more options you can create!
It’s important to keep your pet active, even in winter, to keep their minds and bodies toned, no matter the season. If you have any questions about your pets fitness, feel free to contact us or make an appointment for a consultation. Have fun and enjoy the change of seasons with your dog!