With winter finally descending on Durango and Southwest Colorado, what is the best way to get some fresh air and exercise for you and your pet? I have a very active Border Collie Mix who needs daily exercise. With cold, snowy or wet weather we still have to get out. What is the best way to go about that with all the moisture we have been getting this winter?
First, humans need to dress appropriately! Layers are very important! I like to go with a base layer on top and one to two light to medium jackets that can be removed or added as activity level and temperature dictate. I prefer fleece pants with or without a base layer underneath. A hat and gloves are great for comfort also. For deep snow, snow pants and/or gaiters are the way to go! A good quality winter boot is a must for our climate. Remember to pack a snack for you and your pet! Now that you are all dressed, what to do? There are many options in our area!
- Cross Country Skiing. This is a wonderful workout. Please keep in mind, when working for veterinarians in the past we saw plenty of lacertaions in dogs from getting cut by skis. Please watch out for your pooch if this is your preferred method of outdoor exercise.
- Snowshoeing or Hiking. I love winter hiking! It’s a great workout and generally there is a lot of solitude. Snowshoes can help keep you afloat on the snow. Any trails that you hike in the summer can be snowshoed in the winter. Just mind any seasonal trail closures. Also, local golf courses can be hiked, snowshoed and skied on.
- Walking the River Trail. In my experience, the River Trail is well maintained, sometimes plowed before the roads. For easy walking and good traction, this is an excellent idea. It’s a good idea to keep your dog on a leash and of course pick up after your pooch.
- Dog Park Adventures. Hiking or snowshoeing can be done at the dog park, with the added bonus of dog friends for your dog to play with. Fun!!
Its great for you to get exercise in the winter and your dog will love it! If you are out and about a lot in winter consider a jacket for your dog and/or boots!
Let me know winter adventures you love to share with your dog!