Through sunshine, bitter cold, dogs need exercise

December 2, 2010 By Amy Patterson Neubert

Winter weather is no excuse to avoid outdoor exercise with your dog, says a Purdue University veterinarian.

"The epidemic has an impact on humans and also our canine friends," says Sandy Amass, professor and associate dean in the School of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently leading the Fat and Coughing Horses project to educate more young people about veterinary medicine and health sciences.

"Walking a dog regularly can be great way for both of you to stay fit, and it is a fun activity as well," she says. "When the weather turns colder it is easy to want to stay indoors, but it is just as important to keep exercising."

Here are some tips from Amass and Jim Weisman, director of the Student Services Center and clinical assistant professor, for exercising with your pet in :

* Dogs will develop a thicker coat over time as they are exposed to cold weather, but small dogs or dogs with short hair might be more comfortable in a coat or sweater.

* The chemicals and salt applied to roads and sidewalks to prevent freezing can burn or irritate dogs' paw pads. There are commercially available dog boots that can offer protection from such chemicals, as well as from ice or mud. If boots are not used, wipe the dog's paw pads with room temperature water after a walk.

* Dogs need extra drinking water. They can lose water when they pant during exercise, and the cold air that they breathe in has very little moisture.

Amass also recommends that people consult with a physician and veterinarian before beginning a fitness program for themselves and a pet.

Explore further: Dog 'laugh' silences other dogs

Related Stories

Dog 'laugh' silences other dogs

December 5, 2005

Washington state researchers report discovering what might be the sound of dog laughter. The scientists say the long, loud pant they recorded has a calming or soothing effect on the behavior of other dogs, ABC News reported.

Penn State studies storm-phobic canines

December 15, 2005

Penn State University researchers have determined pet owners can't resolve storm phobia in their dogs, but having a multi-dog home may reduce stress.

Modelling virtual dogs: It's a walk in the park!

April 4, 2006

Dog walking is a national pastime, but how does your dog walk? Different breeds have different gaits, for example greyhounds tend to be thin and fast whilst labradors are thicker set and tend to waddle.

Recommended for you

Research reveals new clues about how humans become tool users

October 7, 2015

New research from the University of Georgia department of psychology gives researchers a unique glimpse at how humans develop an ability to use tools in childhood while nonhuman primates—such as capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees—remain ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.