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No one wants to see their dog become a couch potato- including your dog. It’s boring and that can lead to more unwanted behaviors- demanding treats by barking, less pep in their step, grumpy demeanors and less of a desire to positively engage you.  So, consider this winter a special seasonal health challenge to meet proactively by jumping in both paws first!

Your best friends’ overall health and wellness is an important priority to you throughout the year- and you as the guardian of the door, the leasher up is the responsible party to make it happen or let it sink to the wayside. As the seasons change, you may need to give extra attention to specific healthcare considerations. Here are some important tips to heed when considering your fur baby’s health.

Be Creative About Finding Ways to Stay Active

Freezing temperatures may make both you and your dog less way eager to do fun and active stuff outdoors. Nevertheless, your dog needs some opportunities to have physical activity during the winter in order to maintain optimal health. Without regular exercise, your dog may be vulnerable to weight gain in addition to muscle atrophy or joint pain. Also, let’s say you don’t have a designer dog, you have a dog that is bred and has thrived in winter conditions- this is your season to let your dog’s function excel!

Be sure to check the weather schedule so you can plan ahead to take advantage of milder days when you can venture out farther or head out longer. Also, set aside some time for indoor games designed for cold weather that give your dog the chance to be active.

You might also consider finding an indoor doggy daycare with a large play area where your dog can run around and have a romp with some furry friends. For the most part, this type of playtime is good for dogs that enjoy the dog park and do not interact aggressively with dogs.

Bump Up Your Dog’s Nutritional Intake

Your dog’s nutrition can be particularly important during the winter months. When dogs are spending less time being active, they may have more difficulty regulating their energy levels because they are less active while also expanding their bodies’ energy to stay warm. You may observe extended lethargy parsed with bouts of accelerated energy. In addition, you may notice some changes to your dog’s digestive balance. Reduced physical exertion and changes to your dog’s routine can interfere with digestion and hinder your dog’s ability to absorb all of the nutritional content in his or her food.

Verify that your dog’s regular food doesn’t contain any ingredients that will put a strain on your dog’s digestive activity. Be on the lookout for by-products, meal, and brewer’s yeast. Consider treats or chews that contain enzymes and probiotics to support a healthy gut microbiome. Adding a supplement such as a green superfood powder that’s rich with antioxidants can help to eliminate free radicals that disturb enzymatic activity.

Avoid Slips & Falls: Be Safe Outside

Walking your dog during foul weather can be hazardous to the both of you. When it’s snowy or slippery, be sure that you’re wearing non-slip footwear. If your dog is strong, a fast tug in the wrong direction could send you both into harm’s way. You may also need to consider some footwear for your dog. If you’re going for a walk anywhere that salt is used to clear ice, it could be abrasive to paw pads. Booties may be hard for your dog to get the hang of at first, but they can ultimately spare your dog from nasty cuts and discomfort.

If you let your dog out to a fenced yard instead of heading out for walks, it’s critical that you be vigilant about how long your dog stays outside. Dogs can’t endure freezing temperatures for very long. Be sure to keep trips outside brief in inclament weather. A coat may help your dog stay comfortable in frigid winds and make it possible to enjoy a little more time outside than he or she would be able to without a coat.

When temperatures drop, you have to be mindful about how the colder weather can affect your dog’s well-being. Also, as you ring in a new year with your furry family member and look towards the year ahead, you may take stock of some of your own health goals and set resolutions. Do your research on what will help you and your dog have better health this year. Searching for things such as, what is thrive? Will help in identifying some ways to enhance your pet’s health and resolving to make strides towards wellful habits will help assure that your pet has a healthy year ahead.

Explore Together

It is time to rent a car for a few hours and drive around with your pup’s head popped out the window? Time to get a dog booster seat so they can see some sights and sounds other than what’s going on inside?  Perhaps, going to a dog cafe, dog comedy show or strolling a mall or going in person to see if you can upgrade your internet speed in person is just the facetime and outing you and your furry friend need to break out of the rut of less outdoor time.  Not sure what the local activities are? Check out or even create your own group on social media.

photo credit: anastasiia-tarasova-pz0zlVABvgo-unsplash

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