Written by Marissa Greenberg, DVM
Though it hasn ™t felt like it lately, winter is here! As you plan any trips this winter, consider including your dog if you are going to the snow! Most dogs seem to take to the snow naturally, and just love playing in it! When I moved to Washington with my dog Slink, she had never experienced the snow. But she instantly loved it and enjoyed running through it, looking for things to chase underneath it, and trying to catch snowballs! There seems to be something about it that just energizes some dogs. The first time Mico went, he instantly loved it as much as Slink!
There are several activities you can do with your dog at the snow. The first is just playing in it! Letting them run, play, try to catch or find snowballs, and digging through it can be very entertaining for all involved. There are many places you can take dogs with you on trails where you can snowshoe or cross country ski. It is important to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the cold weather-some may need sweaters or jackets if they are short haired breeds. If running around a lot in the snow, your dog may need booties to protect their pads. Also, make sure they have a water source that isn ™t frozen over and that they have a warm place to sleep.
For the real snowy condition enthusiasts, you may want to try your hand at skijoring. Skijoring is where a dog or pair of dogs are harnessed and connected to a skier, thus pulling the skier along the trails. Any medium to large sized dog could enjoy this sport! The other dog snow sport is of course, dog sledding. If you are interested in more information about either of these sports, please check out this website http://www.psdsa.org/Default.aspx.
We would love to see pictures of you and your pets out enjoying the snow! Have fun out there enjoying winter wonderlands of snow with your pets!