Winters are long and dark in Yellowknife and we often think about our own health a lot. Go to the gym, make sure we socialize, get outside when it is light out, etc. But how often do we think about the health of our k9 friends throughout the winter?
Obviously if you are a dog owner you think about this a lot more than someone who doesn’t own a dog but is there more you can do to help keep your four legged friend active and healthy throughout the winter?
Recently CBC published a quick article with 10 tips to keeping your dog active in the winter, we have taken some those and given them some Yellowknife flavour.
Winters can be cold but don’t let this stop you from getting out with your pouch. Pick up some dog booties and a jacket for your dog. Chances are you dog will be more likely to want to be outside if they are warm and comfortable. Watch their ears as well, some dogs will ignore the cold and you wont notice until its too late.
Go for Endless Walks
Yellowknife in the winter has a intricate series of trail systems that run all over the city and surrounding areas. These trails are used by snowmobilers and dogsledders but are accessible to anyone. Just watch out for other people and vehicles, and make sure to clean up after your dog while on them.
If you don’t know the trails very well and don’t want to risk getting lost there are a few common places to go for walks:
- The Dettah Ice Road is 8kms long a great walk on a sunny weekend afternoon,
- The Sandpits out past the Yellowknife Airport offers a large open area to wander around, with several trails leading off of it.
- Tin Can Hill is a very common place to go for a walk right from downtown. Beginning at the very top of School Draw Avenue, it follows an old gravel road towards Great Slave Lake.
Take up a Joint Sport
To not only keep your dog healthy but yourself at the same time, take up a joint sport. Skijoring is now a common activity around Yellowknife. With easy access to so many lakes, get out there with your dog and explore.
Make Play Dates
Dogs can be very social animals so call up friends with dogs and arrange regular playdates. If you don’t know anyone with a dog (that might be a rarity in Yellowknife) there are a couple dog owner Facebook groups you can check out: YK Pet Owners and Yellowknife Doggy Play Dates. Both don’t seem very active so another option might be contacting the NWTSPCA.
Keep Moving Inside
While having a 50lbs beast running up and down the length of your house is not ideal think of someways to keep your dog active even inside. According to CBC’s article, dogs like chasing bubbles. New toys, playing tug-a-war and other indoor games will keep them moving even on the coldest and darkest days. There is another good article on Dog Tube about indoor activities to check out.
Got something to add to help keep dogs healthy this winter, add it below.