Dog Friendly Tips: Cool Days
It is always best to exercise dogs in the cooler hours of a hot day - early morning and late evening are often the most agreeable times.
In Wales, since it is mostly quite cool in the mountains, you can normally exercise your dog whenever it pleases you to do so - though you may have to wait for a dry spell.
Dog Friendly Article: Winter Exercise for You and Your Dog
Obviously, we need to exercise caution over winter. Much like humans, dogs are far more susceptible to disease when temperatures drop, and in winter considerate owners will be keeping their dogs inside as much as possible, as well as cutting back on antifreeze and de-icing salt.
But cooping your dog up indoors is probably going to lead to a huge amount of pent up energy. They're just as lively as they are in the summer, and you're going to need some exercise ideas to help them vent it.
Most dogs love playing fetch already, and with the handy presence of snowballs it's easy to start up a game, just don't expect to get the ball back once you've thrown it. Once they get past the initial confusion dogs tend to love using snow for fetch.
Bounding about in the snow will take up more energy than usual, so find a field and tire them out faster than ever. Just remember to groom and clean them well afterwards, and bring them in immediately if they start shivering. Put a coat on your coarse haired dogs for good measure.
Sledding and Skiing
Most of the time dogs should be kept on a lead over winter. More dogs go missing during winter than any other season. The snow masks the various scents canines use for path finding and reduces the number of visible landmarks to help them navigate.
Grab a pair of skis (or more likely a cheap sled), and larger dogs will merrily pull you around icy paths. The activity is fun for both of you, and channelling their inner husky will use a good amount of that pent up energy without forcing you to run about on dangerous surfaces. Ice is hazardous, after all, and unless you invest in a good pair of snow shoes there's every chance your dog will be dragging you along the floor anyway, so you might as well take advantage of the occasion.
This works for larger dogs too, though it's smaller canines in particularly who have more trouble exercising in the snow, so this might be easier for them. It's possible to buy dog treadmills, but these are often more expensive than human ones! To accustom your dog to a regular treadmill, be sure to start off slow until it understands and is familiar with the concept. Once you get to this point you can begin increasing the speed until it reaches a comfortable cadence.
Like with any exercise technique, it's important to be safe. Never tie your dog's lead to the hand bar. Some owners do this to keep the dog on the treadmill and running, but you run a good chance of throttling or overworking the creature, better to let it wander off once it's tired out. Try sitting in front of the treadmill with a treat to keep your dog motivated, and you can easily walk it for the amount of time you'd take a regular dog out and about.
Whether she's playing catch or getting dragged over the ice, Louise Fisher recognises the important of keeping your dog exercised. Now a featured contributor of Bonnington Plastics, a dog lead wholesalers, she's able to reach a wider audience than ever before.
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