If you are a pet owner with an active lifestyle looking to switch things up with your equally active fur companion — we highly recommend trying out skiing. It beats trudging through the snow during walks in the winter anyway. Additionally, if you are already a skier, why not share the exciting experience with your dog? This could be a rewarding and action-packed activity for you both, so it is definitely worth a try! And for more tips, be sure to check out Some Sort of Board!
However, if your dog prefers staying indoors during the winter or if you are still unsure about what skiing activities to do with them, perhaps it would be a better idea to scrap this idea. If you are keen on embarking on a skiing adventure with your dog, keep reading. We’ve put together a comprehensive list to prepare you and your dog for the adventure of a lifetime. Let’s get started!
Types of Skiing Activities
There are many types of skiing to choose from but do keep in mind to pick one that suits the needs of your dog. Here are three that we recommend:
This refers to skiing that takes place in either the woods or a worn trail. The appeal of this type of skiing is that skiers rely on their own transport for getting around, allowing them access to a less crowded trail like at a ski resort. This would be great for you and your fur friend especially if they are just starting out. It could be a great opportunity to warm them up to skiing and also help you gauge how to handle future ski opportunities together.
If you have already gone on a couple of ski trips with your dog and are looking to level up, you could consider skate skiing. The difference between skate skiing and cross country skiing is in the technique. This type of skiing has also been referred to as a vigorous outdoor sport as it requires skill, experience, and endurance. If you think you and your dog are up for the challenge, do take it up.
Traditionally, skijoring refers to a winter sport that is either pulled by a horse, dogs, or a vehicle. It is sort of a mix of cross-country skiing and sledding. For this activity, you have to invest in the appropriate harnesses for both your dog and yourself. You both will be connected through a tow line, and be prepared to be pulled by your dog as you ski behind. We advise you to only choose this option if your dog has the stamina and is over 15 kg (35 lb).
Some pet owners have gone snowboarding with their dogs before, but we highly recommend choosing another skiing activity to do with your dog instead. There are high chances of collision with other snowboarders on the trail and it could turn messy very quickly should either one of you get into an accident. If you still plan on doing so, choose a terrain that is not so populated to allow you and your dog ample space.
Carry Your Dog
If you don’t want your dog to miss out even though you know that they are not capable of skiing, you could carry them with you. We don’t literally mean carry your dog in your arms, but put them in a doggy backpack so that they can go skiing with you too.
Dog-Friendly Ski Resorts
If you like, try checking out dog-friendly ski resorts that could offer more suitable amenities to put your mind at ease. Most of these resorts offer to pet-sit while you go off skiing, or a relaxing treatment for your dog after a day out in the snow with you.
When it comes to any type of sport involving your pet, it is vital to have a strong foundation for communication. This means that your dog should be able to understand commands and is normally well-behaved in an outdoor setting. There might be other dogs or animals on the trail, and bad pup behavior might cost you the entrance to the skiing terrain. Most of the time, your dog would be unleashed. For the welfare and safety of your dog and others, be sure to have a firm foundation for voice-activated commands with your dog. Additionally, you have to familiarise your dog to step off the trail to let others pass through. On a separate note, do also bring poop bags to clean up after your dog should they defecate on the ski trail.
Besides conduct, you also have to avoid skiing in front of your dog. This increases the likelihood of causing accidents as you may hit your dog with your skiing equipment. To counter this, we highly advise that you ski beside them or behind them. It is also vital that you ensure that your dog is properly equipped in a coat that keeps them warm and allows for mobility. We recommend getting coats that have insulator material for dogs who do not already have thick fur themselves. Dogs are susceptible to hypothermia too, especially when spending a long period of time in wintry terrains. If you want to protect your pet’s paws from rocky or icy terrains, you can also equip them with dog snow boots.
Lastly, make sure you both are properly equipped for skiing. We recommend bringing a bungee leash, a backpack for your dog, portable bowls, a first aid kit (one for you and your dog), and heated pads.
To wrap it up, we hope you and your dog have a memorable ski trip! Skiing is definitely a great activity for everyone — pet and human — to keep fit during the winter. Just remember to be properly equipped and trained for any situation. Safety always comes first, so try not to push your dog to keep up with you especially if it is their first time going on a trip like this with you. Practice makes perfect, so hopefully, this is the beginning of many ski trips with your dog to come.