6 Jolly Ways Exercise Will Help You Survive The Holi-Dogs

Kevin Roberts
by Kevin Roberts
Merry Skijormas! Kevin Roberts serves up a few bright tips on how to make the most of the holidays – especially when active dogs are part of your festivities.

Skijoring is kind of a big deal at our place, so it should come as no surprise that we always sneak out for a skijor on Christmas day!

Related: The Frost-Savvy Snowshoe Dog

We think of this tradition as a gift; a gift to ourselves and to our dogs. Skijoring keeps us fit, healthy and happy, and we can’t ask for much more than that. These holiday skijors are special time we spend with our dogs, and we often drag some friends along as well. Looking back over the years, we are thankful for our Christmas day skijoring outings. We’ve enjoyed them with foster dogs, friends who now live far away and dogs who have since passed on. The trails are always different and the weather is never the same, but the memories last a lifetime.

Whether or not you skijor with your dog, consider making an outdoor activity part of your Christmas traditions. Go for a hike, a snowshoe, a skijor or playing a round of fetch and toss at the local dog park. It’ll help burn off some excess calories and give you some space from family members you only see on the holidays for a reason.

Related: Getting Started In Skijoring

But that’s not all I do to make the most of my holi-dogs (that’s holidays that include dogs). Here’s what I do to not only survive the Yuletide season, but to relax and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with my pack:

Christmas Play-Time Benefits

One of the best things about getting out for a romp with the dogs on Christmas day is that they come home tired. It certainly takes the edge off, and they are less likely to jump on Grandma or chew a hole in Cousin Billy’s new socks. There’s a lot behind the saying: “A good dog is a tired dog.” Give your dog a chance to be good and set him up for success with a Christmas day adventure (besides, it’ll give him a chance to make it onto Santa’s “Nice List” next year!).

Working Up a Turkey Appetite

It’s no wonder the gym is always busy in December, right before all the Christmas parties. If you don’t want to go up an outfit size, you’ll need to find a way to get out there and exercise. Fresh air is health care, go help yourself! Getting a good workout in before we sit down to a Christmas dinner leaves me feeling less bloated and ready to tackle the turkey. Of course, the dogs are always happy to come along for the exercise, which makes them the best personal trainers out there. And unlike the human kind of personal trainers, they don’t make you feel guilty for agreeing to a second helping of stuffing (that’s because they’re under the table, waiting for a bite).

On Their Best Behavior

Is your whole family coming over to tear open gifts, make a mess, eat your food and leave fingerprints all over your house this holiday season? If your holiday plans are like mine, they include hosting an army of guests. All of the excitement and unusual commotion can be overwhelming, even for a well-trained dog. Giving your dog some exercise time before the big event will allow him to relax, and better able to deal with crowds of family and friends.

No Dogs Allowed

I’ve heard rumors that dogs aren’t welcome at all Christmas gatherings – how shocking! While I find this hard to believe, my sources tell me that it’s true. Many people go to Christmas dinners and leave their furry friends at home (*sniff). If bringing Fido along is not in the cards, that’s more reason to block some time to get out for a Christmas day excursion. Your dog will be happy for a bit of a rest while you head for the mandatory face time with family.

Pre-Emptive Mother-In-Law Strikes

My mother-in-law is welcoming of all the dogs, especially on Christmas. Her house is beautiful and she serves up a mean turkey. Yes, I am aware this may sound like I’m sucking up, but I am truly lucky on the MIL front. I also know that not everyone can count a flexible mother- or father-in-law as a blessing. However, your in-laws may not be as accepting when it comes to your fur-babies, especially when it comes to exploring their home and trying to take a sneak peek at the presents under the tree. If this is the case for you, some pre-festive exercise will help rid them of some of those annoying doggy habits that stress out the in-laws. Besides, you want to get invited back next year and well exercised dogs don’t wear out their welcomes.

Christmas is More Than Malls

If you have had a hectic holiday season, filled with trips to the mall, work parties, errands and baking, getting out for some fresh air and dog-related exercise will soothe and re-energize your spirit. Spending time in outdoors with your furry BFF friend will lower your blood pressure, allow you to take life at a dog’s pace and give you some peace and quiet before you go back to the Christmas hustle and bustle.

Make it part of your plan this holiday season to get out there and spend some time with your dog. It’ll cut down on a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly! And to put you in the holiday spirit, watch our team getting our holi-dog on in our traditional skijoring outing.

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!

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