Top Tips For Winter Activities
As the cooler months set in, the instinct to hibernate more becomes stronger. It’s natural to prefer to curl up on the couch with a hot drink than to head off to the park or walk around the block. However, getting out to exercise it is vitally important – not only for us – but also for our pets.
Dogs can have a lot of fun in the snow, but remember to keep him warm!
Having a pudgy pooch is not something you should be comfortable with. Obesity is a huge problem for our dogs during the winter months. Many pets will experience weight gain, just like their human counterparts. And obesity leads to many other complications in health that can even reduce the life expectancy of your beloved animal.
The most common scenario would involve owners over-feeding and treating their pets with the wrong food. Combine this with a reduction in exercise and you have a recipe for obesity. So, let’s all get over the excuses like “It’s just a bit of winter fat to keep him warm” and face the fact that you are creating potentially long-term health problems.
So, let’s look at some of the actions we can take to counteract this creeping condition:
- Keep to a strict exercise routine – in all but the most extreme weather conditions.
- Buy a good dog coat and/or raincoat so that you are prepared for going out.
- Make a list of indoor training activities when you are unable to walk your dog.
- Avoid feeding your dog human fatty foods. It is better a well balanced dog food.
- Give your dog good quality, lean treats. Not fatty treats.
- Ensure they have a consistent balance of food (calories) and exercise.
Ideas to exercise your dog indoors:
- Take the stairs.
- Teach or practise some tricks.
- Use interactive toys.
- Socialize with other pets.
- Play fetch.
If you think your dog is still overweight, despite your efforts, then seek help.
I know it’s tempting to give them the leftovers from the roast (and the gravy!), but things like that are a prime reason for dogs packing on unwanted kilograms. Just make sure the balance is there. That applies to food, treats and to exercise.
It comes down to finding activities that you and your dog can enjoy together to remain active in the winter months. All the while being mindful of the diet you are providing for your animal. After all, you are the one in charge.
For more information on obedience training for your Frenchie check out this recommended program.
Pet Burns During Winter
The winter months are also the time for owners to experience burn related accidents with their animals. Pets can very quickly become burnt and injured when getting too close to hot surfaces. This can be anything from scolding due to hot drinks or bursting hot water bottles through to backs, bottoms and pads needing medical attention from getting too close to a hot fireplace. It does not need to be that way. By applying some common sense and preparation you can avoid these distressing events.
Here are some steps all pet owners should take:
- Using a fireguard around your heaters and fireplaces to prevent your pet from getting too close.
- Never leave hot drinks unattended and within reach of wagging tails!
- Train your puppy to keep a clear distance from the fireplace and be consistent.
- Discourage cats from jumping on heaters.
- If possible, purchase a safe heater that turns off when knocked over.
- Never use hot water bottles with pets. Instead, use a pet-friendly heat pack.
Simply adding some warm soft bedding into his or her favorite areas will ensure your pet is warm throughout the day or when you are not at home. There is always an alternative to using possibly dangerous items during the winter months.
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Last update 2021-07-28. Price and product availability may change.