Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Webonews button

Winter health and wellness tips for your dog

Winter is coming, and the cold weather is a big reason to stay inside. Spending more time inside can cause your dog to gain weight, as is the case with humans. The frigid weather can make it difficult for you and your dog to stay active, and just a few extra pounds on your dog can affect his health.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to help your dog prevent seasonal weight gain and stay active.

— Keep track of your dog’s weight. Weigh your dog before winter begins so that you know his healthy weight. Keep this number in mind and monitor it throughout the season.

— Exercise the mind and brain indoors. This can be as modest as building a small agility course with a broom and two buckets. You can also teach him a new trick. Dogs are always eager to learn and please. Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body. Creating a scavenger hunt is a great way to keep your dog’s brain and body active.

— Portion-control your dog’s food. Cut back on your pup’s regular food prior to a big holiday meal. Depending on how much you regularly feed him, try giving him 25 percent less and see how he does. You can also try replacing the missing food with canned string beans for about two weeks and then resume normal feeding.

— Take him to doggie daycare. Check to see if your local daycare offers socialization classes. It’s a great way to have your dog interact with other pups and cut down on the time he spends alone. Arrange a playdate, whether it’s with other dogs or people. Winter encourages hibernation, so it is beneficial to keep your pup socialized.

— Avoid going overboard on treats. The holidays bring out the giving spirit, which includes family and friends bringing you and your pup treats. Treats can be loaded with calories, and since the amount of exercise your dog is getting has decreased, they can add extra pounds. Instead, ask your guests to bring dog toys, and replace treats with crunchy vegetables like baby carrots.


For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at


©2018 American Kennel Club

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



This column/content is for subscribers only. It is sold separately and is not included in your Tribune News Service subscription. To subscribe, please contact Rick DeChantal at Tribune Content Agency, (866) 280-5210 or, or you can purchase individual columns a la carte at

Article source:

Speak Your Mind