Updated: Dec 9, 2020
While all of us like to get outside for a walk, run, bike, ski or our favorite outdoor activity, it's great fun to have our four legged companions with us. Skiing is one of those fun ways for you and your pup to get exercise and spend time in the great outdoors. Here are a couple things to consider when skiing with your dog.
Ski in dog friendly places
Be mindful of where you dog can and should run along side of you. Respect land manager policies. Respecting their policies will keep access open to different user groups and pets.
Be respectful of other users
While we all love our dogs. Not everybody loves our dog. Remember this, respect other peoples space and their opinions about your dog being near them or their family and you will have more positive experiences out with your dog.
Be mindful of your dogs waste
Where is your dog pooping? Cleanup is necessary on groomed ski trails. This also supports the previous idea about being respectful of other users. You probably don't like to ski over your dogs poop or another dogs poop so don't expect other people to be okay with it.
Your dog gets cold too
Even though your dog is covered in hair, he/she can still get cold. Plan accordingly. Keep long stops to a minimum. Consider a dog jacket of some kind. Bring food and water for your dog.
Your dog needs snacks and water, just like you
Your dog burns calories running along side you. If you're out for a long ski or spending several hours in the snow, you dog will need calories to replenish the ones they are using to run, walk and stay warm. Water helps dogs stay warm and keeps them rehydrated so bring them a water bottle too.
You have skis on and your dog does not
Remember that you are gliding over snow with ease and your dog may be post holing up to their chest. This means they have to work a lot harder to stay with you. How would you feel if we went out for a ski where I could ski, but you had to run behind me in 24" of new snow. You would get really hot and tired. You wouldn't last as long as me on skis. While skiing on groomed trails is easier for your dog, the snow grains are typically harder and can cause redness, soreness or bleeding on your dogs pads. Keep this in mind and gauge your time accordingly. You might also try booties for your dog.
Have fun and be playful
Your dog likes to socialize with. Having fun and being playful with them is a good way to socialize. This will deepen your connection and they will look forward to spending this time with you.
Dogs are wonderful companions and they have needs and desires too. They want to be loved, cared for and played with. While playing often looks different for each dog, they want to play with you. Interact with your dog while skiing and they will view it as quality time spent together. Remember that your dog wants to please you and will run themselves to exhaustion. Please look after them.