Tip of the Month – January 2011

Exercising Your Dog in Winter Months

winter dogAs New Englander dog owners, we know how hard it can be to keep your dog active once the snow falls. I know how hard it is to pry myself out of a warm house to trudge through freezing cold snow until my nose and fingers feel like they are going to fall off, especially if I’ve already been working in the cold all day!

All of our dogs need exercise year round. Even the most laid back dogs should be outdoors daily receiving some form of physical activity.  You are otherwise putting your dog at risk to be overweight, causing health problems such as heart disease or diabetes which will shorten your dogs life span.

As a dog trainer, I know that one of the most common causes of behavioral problems is lack of exercise. Many owners say to me, “But my dog gets plenty of exercise, we have a big fenced in yard and they play all day.”  It is wonderful if you can offer your dog access to the outdoors throughout the day, but allowing your dog(s) to play by themselves simply cannot replace the daily physical and mental exercise with a human pack leader.

So for your dogs sake, bundle up and brave the cold!  And if you just can’t, consider a dog walking service.  Just ask anyone who braves the cold (or has Happy Dogs @ Home brave it for them) how grateful and less destructive their four legged family members are during these cold winter months.

– Jan