Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest doggy daycare and overnight camp, offers a list of important tips for Safe Exercising in Winter with Pets:
- Just as we need to add layers to guard ourselves from the cold, short-haired dogs need the same protection. Even as internal body temperatures rise with exercise, cold air counteracts this warmth. When taking a short-haired friend out, dress Fido in a sweater or jacket to make sure he’s stays warm inside and out.
- The salt and chemicals that are used on streets to melt ice can irritate the pads of Fido’s paws. Be sure to give his feet a good wipe when you get home, before Fido gets the chance to lick them and consequently irritate his mouth as well. Chemicals can actually be deadly for them if they lick them. Also, it’s important for parents to use pet-safe ice melt at their home. They can actually wear booties as an alternative.
- Many people will let dogs run around in a fenced in yard unsupervised. Avoid this in the winter, especially in snow, as there’s potential for the dog to get extremely cold, disoriented and lost or hurt.
- As exercising in cold weather depletes more energy as the body works extra hard to stay warm, make sure Fido has plenty of water and food after a workout.
- In order to avoid the shock of the cold weather, get Fido’s blood pumping before you head outdoors. Just as you stretch to get your muscles warm, toss or roll a soft ball in the house a couple times for Fido to chase after.