Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Skiing

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Introduction

Skiing is one of the favorite past-times for many active dog owners across the United States. While many ski resorts only allow working ski-patrol dogs on their lifts, there are many other activities for dogs with owners who like skiing, to make sure both dog and owner get out and enjoy the snow. Skiing with your dog can make any day in the powder even better, and there are many ways to get out and enjoy the snow outside of the ski resorts where both humans and their four-legged friends are welcome. In fact, many ski towns across the U.S. are dog-friendly and have come up with safe and fun ways they can share their love for skiing with their pups. If you are an avid skier, read on for new ways you can get out in the snow with your favorite furry ski buddy.

Cross-country Skiing

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Cold Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Ski pass and book of trails
Dog Boots or Musher's Secret
cross-country skis and poles
Activity description
Cross-country skiing is a favorite activity for dogs with owners who love skiing. It's the perfect way to get outside, slide on snow, and enjoy winter with your pup. Many cross-country ski resorts have trails that are groomed specifically for dogs and their owners. In the winter, many skiers enjoy going cross-country skiing on forest service trails and making their own path. If you have a large yard or even a park nearby, you can go cross-country skiing with your dog any time you want. You'll both get a wonderful workout and come back to the house happy, tired, and ready to curl up by the fire.
Step
1
Find a trail
The first step is to find a trail that is dog-friendly and a good length and pitch for your cross-country ski abilities. Check with your local cross-country ski area to see if they have dog-specific trails or days where dogs are allowed on groomed trails. You can also find local trails that are good for cross-country skiing. If you need to brush up on your skills, you can take a lesson before you head out.
Step
2
Get your gear
Make sure your cross-country skis, boots, and poles are in good working order and fit properly. Wear warm and breathable clothes that you can layer as you get warmer or colder, pack a small bag with snacks and water for you and your dog, and make sure your dog has booties or you put musher's secret (natural paw protection that can be purchased) on their paws to keep the snow from balling up between their toes.
Step
3
Head out on the trail
Now you're ready to put on your skis and head out on the trail. Make sure you take it easy to warm up and then settle in to enjoy the beauty of snow-covered trees and the calming swish of your skis. Keep an eye on your pup to make sure they don't get too tired or cold, and head back after an hour or so.
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Back-country Skiing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Hard
3 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Boots, Poles and Skins
Avalanche Beacon
back-country skis
Activity description
If you are an avid downhill skier but want to share the experience of skiing powder with your pup, backcountry skiing is an excellent way to share the mountains with your dog. You'll need to have taken avalanche classes, understand the terrain you're going into, and it's wise to go with an experienced group, but for dogs whose owners love skiing, getting out in the backcountry is the best way to share the slopes. If your dog is a powderhound too, you'll have many enjoyable days in the winter skiing backcountry glades and sharing the activity you love most with your best buddy.
Step
1
Find and assess your terrain
Your dog's first trip into the backcountry should be short and easy. Remember, while you have skis to glide through snow, they'll be wading through the powder. Test out your dog's energy and fitness level with a trail that isn't too long or steep.
Step
2
Start the skin
While you start to skin up the trail to reach your ski run, it's important to teach your dog trail etiquette. Make sure they stay off your skis and away from the sharp metal edges. It's okay to follow in the ski tracks, but never let them go between a skier's legs!
Step
3
Enjoy the downhill
When you reach the top, make sure you get your dog ready for the descent. Give your pup a snack and water, make sure their booties are on tight and get them excited to follow you. Go slowly for their first run and teach your dog to stay away from the sharp edges of the skis and not to go between your legs. After a few practice runs they'll be a certified powder hound.
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Snowshoeing

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 180 min
Items needed
Dog Booties or Musher's Secret
Poles
snow shoes
Activity description
One of the easiest ways for dogs whose owners love skiing to enjoy the snow with their best friends is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is as easy as walking, and the specially designed footwear helps you to float on the snow instead of sinking in deeply. Whether your favorite part of skiing in the winter is the peace and quiet of snow-covered trails or the brisk feeling of breathing hard in the cold air, snowshoeing with your dog is a great way to experience these feelings with your furry best friend. Some cross-country ski areas will groom dog loops for snowshoeing, but you can also head out almost anywhere there are trails and snow. Make sure you follow proper trail etiquette and stay off ski tracks. You can follow snowshoe tracks or make your own beside the ski tracks.
Step
1
Find your trail
Find the perfect trail to take your dog snowshoeing by contacting your local cross-country ski area or store. They can point you in a variety of directions based on trail length and difficulty.
Step
2
Prepare for your outing
Prepare for your outing by choosing warm and breathable clothing and packing a small bag with water and snacks. Bring a small water dish for your dog and a few treats to keep their energy up. Put on the dog booties or rub on musher's secret, a waxy cream used by dog mushers to keep snow from collecting in your dog's paws.
Step
3
Get outside
Let someone know where you're headed and then hit the trail. Walking in snowshoes might feel strange at first. You have to walk with your legs wider than normal, but soon you'll find your rhythm. Make sure you look around, enjoy the view, and watch how much fun your pup is having.
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More Fun Ideas...

Winter Hiking

If you love snow and the mountains, you can always take your dog on a winter hike. Make sure you wear sturdy and warm hiking boots, gaiters, and extra traction like Yak-Traks or micro spikes to give you purchase in icy conditions. Your dog will love bounding through the snow.

Ski in the Off-season

Some resorts will allow you to ski on the mountain before and after their official seasons. Though the lifts won't be running, dogs are often allowed and you can get a workout by skinning or hiking up the runs with your skis. Be careful not to ski in avalanche terrain because ski patrol won't be there to regulate it or to rescue you.

Conclusion

There are plenty of fun activities for dogs with owners who love skiing to get outside and enjoy the winter months. Many times those dogs love to play in the powder just as much as their owners. If this sounds like you, make sure you plan one of these activities with your pup the next time the snow starts to fly. Skiing or playing in the snow with your dog is one of the most fun activities you can do all year. When you see how excited your pup is to get outside, you'll be even more excited to get your skis and enjoy the snow.