Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How To Keep Your Dog Fit In The Winter

We've noticed Juno getting a little round in the midsection lately. Chalk it up to freezing temperatures and consequently way less exercise than she's used to getting, and you get a rolly dog. Not to mention that she's a Lab, so has zero filter when it comes to what goes in her mouth and has never had a tendency to be a picky eater.

She's like the Lab version of this guy:

So, mission fitness begins.

A couple of things we do when the temperatures dip during the winter are:

Bones - Juno can chew happily on a bone or deer antler for hours - the mental exertion keeps her from going batty when we're stuck inside because of the weather.

Indoor games - "Find it" (hiding either one of us, toys, or bits of kibble - no need for extra treats - we just use half of her breakfast or dinner) or "Fetch" (good ol' ball or disc tossing in the house - all of her toys are soft, rubbery, and quiet, so we don't worry about breaking anything - and we've mastered the aim over the years).

When we do go out during the winter, we go out for shorter, more manageable walks - several times a day. Nobody wants to get stuck blocks away from home with a dog who's lifting up their paws because their foot pads are literally freezing to the ground! Going for walks in the daytime is also helpful - the sun is shining, so it feels warmer - and mentally it's more enjoyable too. There are more dogs, more people - and, in general, more bustle to keep a dog's brain going enough to tire her out. And the wind just seems to pick up more when it gets dark - or maybe it feels that way.

This was during the day.

These are some tips we use when the mercury takes a nosedive. What do you do to keep the pounds off your dog during the winter?

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