Winter Exercise Advice for Dog Owners in Southeastern Massachusetts

winter exercise outdoors for dogsLike humans, dogs in America today are plagued by one of the biggest issues: they have become overly sedentary. Some dog owners, meanwhile, give their animals far more frequent exercise than just a quick walk around the neighborhood. Tips for the finest canine exercise might be useful for those who want to go above and beyond, particularly when the weather cools off. In addition to exercising caution while bringing dogs outside in the snow and ice to save their sensitive foot pads, autumnal chilly and cold temperatures also need to be considered. Fall River dog owners should prepare for the cold in different ways, depending on their breed. Make sure to make an appointment with Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to speak with a knowledgeable veterinarian serving Southeastern Massachusetts if you are unclear about the best course of action for your dog.

Dog Breeds for Cold Climates

If you are aware that you will want to exercise outside all year long, it begins with the breed you choose to adopt. In New England, mixed breeds including one or more of the breeds described above could also make excellent candidates for outdoor exercise throughout the late fall through early spring season. It does not follow, however, that you need not prepare for the season and make sure they are protected from the elements simply because they are meant for cold climates. All it indicates is that compared to other breeds, they have a far higher likelihood of adapting to cold climates. These stunning “snow” dogs are known for their large size, remarkable strength, and thick, insulating coats.

The top dog breeds for cold climates include the Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Samoyed Akita, Malamutes from Alaska, Chow Chow, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard and Keeshond.

It’s evident that this list doesn’t include any little breed dogs. Although some smaller breeds—like the Pomeranian—have thick coats, they are not especially adapted to severely cold climates. Think about clothes if you have tiny breeds or even larger breeds that don’t like the cold or have short hair. Coats, thick vests, sweaters, and other cold-weather gear can all have a significant impact. Your pet’s entire underbelly should be fully protected by the garment, which should extend from the base of the neck to the tip of the tail. Dog booties are an excellent way to keep your pet’s toes free of snow, ice, and de-icing agents. Because they can be removed upon entering the house, exactly like your own muddy shoes or boots, they are also excellent for minimizing muddy footprints.

Overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder

Actually, the activity that your pet will gladly and enthusiastically do is the greatest. When it becomes chilly, some dogs become more active within, only venturing outdoors to take care of their “business” and then returning inside. If your dog behaves that way, you may try taking him on walks around the neighborhood during the cooler months, bringing him to the dog park to explore the play sections and obstacle courses, or putting up an exercise space in your backyard. But during the colder months, indoor exercise may be just as beneficial and vital for keeping your dog active. Give him something to get enthusiastic about to keep him active, rather than having him cuddle up in front of the fire until his next meal.

A friendly game of “tug of war” before bed, a game of “hide the treat” in the living room, an indoor game of fetch, or a little game of tag across the home. Activities in the cooler months are beneficial not just for your dog but also for you. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that can affect both humans and dogs. It can be treated with a balanced diet high in vitamins and lots of exercise. See your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian about supplementation if your dog still shows little interest in activities even when treats are used as an incentive. It has been demonstrated that vitamin D can aid both people and dogs with this depressive illness. Watch out for nutritional problems; certain breeds need more calories to be at a healthy weight, while others might need to consume less goodies in the fall and winter to prevent gaining weight.

Schedule a Seasonal Vet Appointment

Make an appointment at Dartmouth’s Anchor Animal Hospital if your dog exhibits any symptoms of SAD or has any other seasonal problems that need to be examined by a veterinarian. If your dog spends a significant amount of time outside, keep an eye on their skin and coat every day. If you have any worries about your pet’s health, call us at 508-996-3731 and ask to have your pet checked for matting, uneven hair loss, or itchy skin.