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Winter Sports

Just like every year, Jack Frost shows up and blankets us in snow, ice, sleet and frigid temperatures. Winter is the time to gather up the supplies lock down the doors and windows and hunker down through the cold and snow until Spring, right? Well that’s one way to approach it but for the winter activity enthusiasts and our dogs, it’s a great time to go hiking, running and even Skijoring. That’s with dogs pulling you on your cross country skis, no really a lot of dogs like that! Also, most veterinarians agree that your pet still needs exercise every day to stay healthy and alert.

Most breeds of dogs will enjoy playing in the white stuff, you must have seen them jumping around, burying their snouts and making their version of doggie snow angels. Dogs love getting in on a snowball fight with the kids, even though they are probably frustrated that they can’t throw a snowball, they love to try to fetch them. Chasing a bright colored ball is also a fun way to run off some energy in the snow.

You do need to take some precautions though. Even though most dogs come equipped with natural fur coats, and are able to handle the winter weather for short periods of time, any longer than that and they will need a coat just like you. If your dog is a shorthaired breed, make sure they wear a weatherproof coat to protect their skin from the elements and for all dogs if you are going to be out for an extended period of time, snow boots might be important.

Veterinarians and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) warn that more dogs get lost during the winter months than other seasons, so make sure your pet is always wearing current I.D. tags when playing outdoors. After having your fun in the snow make sure you wipe off your dog and make sure that there are no ill effects from frozen snow or ice.

 

Skijoring with Dogs

As a winter sport, skijoring involves a cross-country skier being pulled by a dog, horse or motor vehicle.

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Sledding with Dogs

Sledding with dogs is becoming increasingly popular, with many different breeds of dog being used for pulling a sled, not just huskies like most people presume or expect. As long as the dog is relatively large and fast, it will be able to pull a sled, however dogs are not just for sledding; they must be well maintained and kept happy and in high spirits, or they will not listen while pulling a sled, and this can cause personal injury for either the dogs or the owner.

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