Roger Caras, a renowned wildlife photographer and writer, once said “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” The statement rings true to anyone that has ever owned a dog, which is why dog lovers enjoy spending time with their pets.
For most of the year, it is easy to go outdoors and enjoy activities with your dog because the weather is nice and there are generally more things to do when it is warm outdoors. During the winter, people generally don’t spend too much time enjoying outdoor activities with their dog because it is too cold, and they are worried about endangering their dog’s health.
However, if you take the proper precautions, there are a lot of activities you can enjoy with your dog during the winter.
One of the best things about winter is that you get to enjoy outdoor adventures that you normally can’t during the summer, and you don’t have to deal with as many people as you would in warmer temperatures.
You can go skiing, snowboarding, camping or hiking with your dog during the winter. If you live close to the mountains, going on a hike with your dog is always a fun way to spend your day, especially after it snows, when the ground is much softer.
Some of the outdoor activities you can do with your dog during the winter include dog sledding, where you can have your dog or multiple dogs pull a sled. This is an even better activity if you have some friends with you because you can turn it into a race.
Hiking is a great way to exercise and enjoy nature at the same time. During the winter, going on a hike with your dog helps you both get out in nature and enjoy some fresh air while getting a workout in the process.
Camping is a fun activity you can enjoy by yourself or with family and friends. During the winter, people enjoy going camping with their dog because their dog will have enough room to roam around the campsite, and keep them warm at night if need be.
Cross country skiing is similar to dog sledding in the sense that your dog pulls you. Instead of a sled, you will be on skis while being pulled by your dog. If you’ve never tried it, you should give it a shot because it is a lot of fun for all involved.
These are just some suggestions of activities you can enjoy with your dog during the winter. Before doing any of these activities, you have to make sure your dogs have the necessary gear to protect them from the elements. The gear you need for these activities include but are not limited to:
Water: This is a must have anytime you are going outdoors, especially in the winter when the temperature can get dangerously low. Make sure you pack enough water for both you and your dog before leaving home.
Food: Like water, this is an essential thing to have when going on an outdoors adventure. The last thing you need when you are outdoors in the winter is to run out of food, because even the most experienced hunter will have a hard time trying to scavenge for food in the winter. Make sure you have enough food to last your trip.
Disposal Bags: While enjoying your outdoors adventure, your dog is going to relieve itself a few times. Even though you’re out in nature and nobody is watching, it’s a good idea to carry disposable bags with you to pick up your dog’s droppings so someone doesn’t step on it.
Hands Free Leash: These are great for running or hiking because it allows your dog to roam while on a leash without you having to hold the leash with your hands.
Collar: You should never go outdoors without putting a collar on your dog because it will be hard for you to prevent your dog from running off. When dogs are in an open area, especially after being indoors for a long period of time, they tend to bolt as soon as they are free. Having a collar allows you to put the dog on a leash and saves you from spending hours trying to catch your runaway dog.
Collapsible Bowl: This is very convenient because it makes it easier for you to feed your dog when you are outdoors without having to take its regular bowl along with you.
High Visibility Coat: This makes it easier for people to see you in the dark, especially when it’s dark.
Dog Boots: Contrary to popular opinion, dogs feel the cold almost as much as we do, which is why it is a great idea to protect your dog’s paws with dog boots. Your dog might walk a little funny at first, but it will eventually get used to them.
Dog Apparel and Dog Pack: Dogs like Siberian Huskies are used to cold weather, while other breeds are not. If you don’t have a winter dog, it is a good idea to have dog apparel like specially designed sweaters your dog can wear to keep warm. It is also a good idea to travel with a Dog pack to keep all the things your dog will need during your adventure.
These are a few outdoor activities you can enjoy with your dog during the winter as well as some of the gear you should have with you while outdoors. Click here if you’re interested in learning more tips on outdoor activities or how to walk your dog during the winter.