Many families do their best to incorporate their pets into many of the family traditions. Whether it’s a beach trip in the summer, opening presents during the Holidays, or evenings spent in the back yard together, pets often join their families in many different activities.
The beautiful snow (and not so beautiful sleet) means that this time of year is perfect for taking the family out sledding. Most neighborhoods and communities have a few hills that everyone knows–places where many families gather to take part in the time honored tradition of simply pushing yourself down a hill covered with snow.
As families gather their sleds, hot chocolate, gloves, scarves, and hats, they might consider bringing their dog along for the fun. We’d like to remind you as you consider it of some simple tips to enjoy family sledding with your pet:
- If your dog has a jacket, break it out. If they have booties or doggy shoes, use them as well. Spending an hour or so outside is hard on your pet too. Be prepared for them to get cold as well and keep an eye out for signs they are uncomfortable.
- Watch your dog to see how they’re doing with all of the excitement. Whereas the family sees kids who are happily sledding, having snow ball fights, and sliding around on the snow, your dog just sees quick jerky unpredictable movements. Keep an eye on them, hold the leash close to you and make sure that they don’t have the opportunity to do anything you will all regret later.
- Even if your dog seems perfectly comfortable, be sure to take the time to take a walk with them away from the excitement. Give them a chance to calm down, take a break, and enjoy the snow themselves. A longer leash for this would be great so they are able to frolic a bit and enjoy the snow.
Most importantly, as with everything with your pet, put their needs and safety first. Keep an eye on your dog and if he or she looks tired, cold, or overly stressed, then be aware. Give them a break or take them home early. Safety first!