4. Make sure your dog gets exercise.
If the frigid temps have you shortening your dog’s walks—either because it’s too cold for you or him—remember your pooch still needs adequate exercise in the winter.
“If you eat the same amount over the summer when you’re active as you do over the winter and don’t exercise as much, you’ll pack on the weight over the winter months,” Verdino says. And that’s OK if you’re working on “bulking season,” but that doesn’t mean your dog should increase his or her gains, too. “Dogs get more sedentary [in the winter]. They tend to gain weight. And then come springtime when they decide to be more active that’s when we see the most injuries.”
If you sat on the couch all winter and then ran three miles in March, you might get hurt. The same can happen with your dog.
“I’ve seen injuries to the ligaments in the knees and things like that,” says Verdino. “I recommend that you still try to give your animals some exercise, even if it’s indoors.”
Throw a toy to your dog, walk up and down the steps, or play around with him to get him moving when he’s stuck indoors. An exercised dog is a content dog, and when you “work out” with him, his behavior will probably be better as well.
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