Five tips for keeping your dog active during the colder months

it’s imperative that our four-legged friends get enough exercise during the winter months.

(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Enjoying the outdoors with your dog can be wonderful, except when the temperature dips down a little too low for comfort. Even if we would prefer to cuddle up on the couch, it’s imperative that our four-legged friends still get enough exercise during the winter.

To help ease the transition, here are five things to consider:

1. Bundle up. Although our furry friends have built-in coats, temperatures can sometimes drop to extremes, leaving you with one shivering pup. Help them keep warm and dry with their own winter jacket for the especially cold days. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes, too. The warmer you are, the better experience the walk will be for both of you.

2. Protect their paws. While many pups love a snowy winter walk, sidewalks and roads are often treated with harsh chemicals and salts that can be harmful to their paws. Use booties to help protect them during walks and be sure to wash your pet’s paws when you come in from the outdoors.

3. Take shorter walks more often. It can be easy to take your dog out for long strolls when the temperature hasn’t yet dipped below zero, but it becomes a bit more of a challenge in the winter months. Taking shorter walks more frequently can help ensure you’re giving your dog enough exercise, without being overexposed.

4. Get some extra help. Sometimes our schedules just don’t allow for all the walks our pups need. Hiring a dog walker through a service like Rover.com can help your dog burn off some energy while you’re out of the house or at work.

5. Be mindful of weight changes. Just like us, our pets may be inclined to curl up on the couch and snuggle away a cold afternoon, but added weight to their small frames can be harmful. Keep an eye on your pet’s shape and weight to ensure they aren’t putting on too many extra pounds.
— News Canada

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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