Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Great Post On Staying Active In The Winter Months By Kathryn From Dog Paddling Adventures

Winter Fun With Your Dog
As the New Year begins and the snow starts to fall,  there’s an inevitable excitement in the air. The change in seasons offers an unprecedented, joyous adventure for puppies and their owners experiencing it together (for some pups it is their first time seeing and playing in snow). I remember the first time Jessie ran outside into a mountain full of snow! She sunk right in and could barely get out, but when she did she was so excited! We could not get her to come inside (it was so cute she was a puff of white snow!!) Cooler weather and shorter days are accompanied by sounds and smells that bring back memories for us—and create brand-new experiences for our four-legged companions. For most of us shoveling snow is a mundane task one that we don’t typically enjoy, but next time you go to shovel bring your pup outside for the fun and watch through their puppy eyes just how much fun the Winter Season truly is! Many of you may be tempted to hibernate in the Winter and let’s face it a lot of people would agree that its cold! But for our K9 friends there is nothing better than playing in the snow being with their human companions!  Jessie taught us pretty quickly how much fun you can have during the Winter and keeps us all in shape!
Winter Wonderland  
Once winter arrives, dogs have even more new sights and sounds to explore. Watching your pup discover snow for the very first time is often a magical experience for both of you! Most puppies will be curious about the snowfall, so explore together! Puppy’s first romp through the snow may be a tenuous adventure at first; the cold, wet, white “stuff” is completely foreign to him. But together, as you let him know it’s okay to walk on it, he’ll adjust to the snow and discover a whole new way to play! For some breeds their little paws develop ice pellets which can get very sore (but don’t let this discourage you, there are dog booties made in all sizes and they work great) We actually made our own out of fleece which worked well for dogs joining us on winter trips. Playing fetch is even more fun when your puppy has to run through the snow, and he’ll love digging for sticks, balls or toys in the snow. Try making a snowball and letting your pup try and fetch that, even better throw a snowball up in the air and watch as they catch and eat it (personal favorite of Jessie’s) She also enjoys having us shovel and throw the snow up in the air, she loves trying to catch it! Now if only we could teach her how to shovel!

One of the best ways to get out and enjoy a day with your pup is to try skijoring! You may wonder what is this? Cross-Country skiing becomes Skijoring when you add a harness to you and your pup and complete the team with a shock absorbing rope to connect you and your pup.  Skijoring is great excersise and a ton of fun. For anyone who knows dogs - they LOVE to pull and skijoring allows them to do what they do best and have a ton of fun. Skijoring is a real team sport (so no you can’t stand there and let your dog pull you around) but as a team you really work together and let me tell you it is a wonderful bonding experience for both of you!  Whether you got for an hour or a day out your dog will be exhausted and excited by all the fun you had together!

Grab a pair of snowshoes, some doggy treats and a bottle of water and hit the forest! It is fun and fantastic exercise (the easiest part if for your dog who gets to run along side you off leash and having a blast) Together you can explore the forest and following the tracks left behind by other forest critters is a game for all to enjoy. Still not convinced! Come join Dog Paddling Adventures on a 1 day adventure and see what everyone is raving about! Winter is here whether we like it or not, so get out and have some fun with your pup in the snow! We provide all of the gear, instruction and hot buffet lunch (all you have to do is dress warm and show up!) Trust me your dog will thank you! Please visit our Winter page for more information on our trips.

Check out Dog Paddling Adventures for more great outdoor activities that you and your doggies can share!

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