Today is day 1 of That Mutt’s 21-day dog walking and training challenge.
This morning, Ace and I walked 2 miles.
That’s no problem for us here in (boring) sunny San Deigo, but what about those of you who live in colder climates, like in Minneapolis or – God forbid – Grand Forks, N.D.?
When is it simply too cold?
Personally, I believe you can always walk for at least 10 minutes. Most dogs are fine for even longer. I know this because I lived in Minnesota and North Dakota for 30 years, and for 5 of those years I was a professional dog walker.
I’m not saying every single dog can be out in those brutal temps. An Italian greyhound is a little different than a malamute.
You know your dog best. So, how cold would you say is too cold for you and your pup?
Here are my tips to get you motivated for winter walking:
1. Commit to 5 minutes. Once you’re out, you’ll probably realize it’s not so bad.
2. You can feel proud of yourself afterwards, because most people won’t venture out. You’re sort of a bad ass.
3. Change your route so you’re fairly close to the house. It’s boring, but at least you’ll be able to get back inside faster if needed.
4. Run! You’ll stay warmer. (See my winter dog running tips.)
5. Winter walks are often the most peaceful. I miss the quiet, calmness of a snowy woods. This photo was taking in a park in north Fargo, N.D.
6. Split your walks into two or three shorter sessions throughout the day.
7. Reward yourself for getting out there. I use sweets, alcohol and carb-heavy meals to reward myself for my workouts all the time. Sometimes, you just need to reward yourself.
And what’s the prize?
Everyone who participates in our 21-day dog walking challenge this week will be entered to win a bag of treats from Look Who’s Happy. Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.
To enter, just participate in the challenge and do one of the following:
- Comment on any of my challenge posts. There’s 3 now: here, here and here
- Email me a photo of your active mutt on a walk
- Post a photo of your active mutt to That Mutt’s Facebook page
- Tweet about the challenge using #ActiveMutts
Pretty easy. I’ll choose a winner each Sunday for the next three weeks.
How is your first day of the 21-day walking challenge?
Follow along using #ActiveMutts on Twitter or follow That Mutt on Facebook or Instagram.