The “blahs” can hit in January. The days are short. The temperatures can be downright cold. And after the festivities in the month of December, January can be a bit of a let-down. If you have a dog, one way to beat the blahs is to celebrate Walk Your Dog Month!
Don’t let the cold weather and snowy days get the better of you – embrace winter and get out there and enjoy the beauty of fresh fallen snow with your dog! Your dog needs to go out no matter what the weather is, so put on your snow pants and bundle up!
Not only will walking your dog get you out of the house and help beat the winter blahs, incorporating a walk into your daily routine will force both of you to get some exercise – something that everyone needs to stay healthy and live a long life. Exercise can also help reduce behavioral issues that your dog may have. If your pooch is tired out, he’ll be more apt to “chill” when you get home from a walk!
If you and your pup are tired of the same old route, discover some new hiking areas in your community to shake things up a bit. Consider a short drive to the river, beach, a conservation area, or national forest – be sure to follow the leash rules.
While deep snow can create a challenge for walking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing while “walking” your dog can be a great work out and lots of fun. Be aware – your dog might need to get used to your new form of transportation!
Still unmotivated to leave your den?! Grab a friend to go walking with! What better way to get in some exercise than to have a good chat with a friend! And if your friend has a dog, even better! Your dogs can socialize and get some off-leash exercise at the dog park.
Before heading out, be sure that your dog is prepared for the cold. Consider booties and a sweater for those cold days and if you’re walking on city streets that have been salted for pedestrian safety, be sure to wipe your dog’s paws off when you return home.
Since the days are short, and our workdays are long, we’re often waking our dogs in the dark during the winter months. Be sure that motorists can clearly see you and your dog. Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and check out the multitude of lights available for your dog – from light up collars, and clip-on collar lights to light up leashes – find one that works for you and your dog.
Bundle up and get moving – after all, spring is only a few short months away!