Health Tips for Inactive Months
After the blitzkrieg of pumpkin pie, ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, cookies, stuffing, and other goodies, there’s only one thing to do.
No, not slip into a food coma. It’s time to get back in shape! While losing those holiday pounds is a good idea for your own health or as a way to jumpstart a New Year’s Resolution, another good reason might be sitting at your feet right now.
Just as people pack on some weight over the holidays and into the long winter months, so too do our furry companions. However, cold temperatures, inclement weather, and hazardous driving conditions can make squeezing in a workout quite the challenge.
Fear not though! Here’s some of Sorsha’s favorite health tips for Dad (or Mom) and dog during the inactive winter months.
Adjust Your Diet
And as enticing as those leftovers are, they probably aren’t ideal for your diet. Make sure you watch what you eat, and do the same for your dog. Be sure to adjust your dog’s calorie intake for their change in activity levels. Don’t go too far, though, or you’ll risk depriving them of the vitamins and nutrients they need. Seek advice from your veterinarian if you aren’t sure.
Get Off the Couch
Although going outside can be a pain, it’s still entirely possible to exercise indoors. Push-ups and sit-ups don’t require any special machinery or a gym membership. Neither does walking up and down steps with your critter. You can also take your critter companion to a store that allows pets, and walk them around the aisles for some exercise, and maybe even some socialization.
Want to double up on the benefits? Teach your pet some new tricks and reward them with food - you can make every meal a training session!
Some dogs love being outside. Sorsha has a double coat and is bred for long nights in the field with sheep, as well as rescuing sailors from icy waters, so she is right at home playing in the snow. However, many dogs are not built for such frigid duties.
If you do take your dog outside, for exercise or just to use the bathroom, be sure to keep an eye on their paws, ears, and tail. These areas are most susceptible for frostbite. Similarly, many de-icers and rock salt mixes used on driveways and paths can be hazardous to a dog’s paws.
Pet booties and other winter gear can help protect them. A more handy solution for your dog’s feet (get it?) ispetroleum jelly, which can help keep them sealed and moisturized. However, this substance can also irritate dogs if they lick it, so be sure to ask your vet for confirmation.
Winter is a great time for cozy nights around the fire or TV, and warms cups of coca. However, don’t let this inactivity get the best of you, or your dog. Stay fit, eat right, and enjoy many more seasons with your companion.
Warmest Winter Wishes!
Sorsha's Dad, Zack