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Winter Activities for Dogs.

Cold temperatures during winter can limit the your dog's opportunities for outdoor exercise. Depending on the weather, however you and/or your pet may still be able to get some outdoor exercise. Under such adverse conditions a number of additional considerations should be made. Unless precaution is taken, ice, salt, and sand can lead to paw abrasions. Dogs with joint problems such as arthritis; especially older dogs, may be severely impacted by the cold. For these dog's muscles and joints can seize and become painful.

Another consideration is to be aware when there is snow on the ground, a dog may not be able to find the familiar scents and may become disoriented or lost if not kept track of or on a leash. Another concern of cold weather is keeping your pet dry. A wet pet can be susceptible to hypothermia, and can get chilled quickly. Similarly, if a dog exercises outdoors, its body temperature may drop rapidly when it stops, again making it susceptible to chill or hypothermia. However, short periods of outdoor exercise can be beneficial to a dog spending most of its day inside. When winter temperatures drop to a frigid level unsafe for humans, most likely it's too cold for canines as well.

Nonetheless, your dog will still need to stay active during this time to maintain good health. Creating fun activities for your pet will help keep him healthy and alert. A game of fetch, or a new toy may be a simple solution. If space is limited make your dog do 'puppy pushups' by telling him to sit and lay down repeatedly. If your pet does tricks having him perform several times a day can help keep him active. Also, consider taking your dog with you on errands. Most dogs are happiest by their owner's side and this can break up the monotony of indoor winter life. However, be sure not to leave your dog alone in a car when it's cold, his temperature could drop rapidly, which is dangerous. It's common for dogs to sleep more in the winter, grow in thicker coats, and gain a little weight. If your dog gains more than a couple pounds consider reducing the amount of food you're giving him to make up for the lack of activity. This is also a good time for some extra grooming if his fur is getting thick. With some special considerations your dog can stay happy and healthy during bitter winter months.

 

 


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