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So our 5-year-old German Sheppard/Siberian Husky Grom was at the vet recently for his annual check-up and his vet suggested in a not so subtle way that he is starting to put on some weight. So as a result, we've upped his walks, and now this winter the dog and I are going to be spending some quality outdoors time as we are going to attempt some skijoring. Not sure what skijoring is? Here are some of the things you'll need if you are looking at embracing the impending winter, and still, want to spend some time outdoors.

The first thing you'll need no matter if you are skijoring, hike-joring or any other activity that your dog is helping to pull you forward is to get a good harness. Our dog doesn't seem to mind wearing one, and actually gets a little excited when it comes out of the closet as he knows that means he's about to take an adventure.

Image Credit: Ruffwear/Amazon

All harness can be a little different, but this is one by Ruffwear that we went with for our dog, who weighs 76 lbs, and we were fortunate that we had tried a similar one when they offered free skijoring when we lived in Albert Lea.

Image Credit: Ruffwear/Amazon

Besides the harness for your dog, you'll need a hip belt to link up to your dog, while also keeping your hands free. You'll also need a towline to connect the harness and hip belt. We went with the Ruffwear versions again, as we knew they were compatible.

Image Credit: Alpina/Amazon

The biggest purchase you'll have to possibly make will be the skis, but I found a set that wasn't too crazy in price, and it included boots, bindings, and poles for about $330 when you include shipping.

Finally, with winters in Minnesota, you know that we use A LOT of salt and sand to break down the snow and ice that falls on area roads. With that sand and salt on the roads and sometimes sidewalks, it can affect your dog's paws to the point of cracking and bleeding. My dad was the one who turned us onto this paw wax, it's called Mushers Secret, and he started using it for his dog after he noticed she was limping a little from her daily strolls through the neighborhood.

Image Credit: Mushers/Amazon

The wax is also good for hot pavement as well, or before you take your four-legged friend hunting in the woods.

I'm hoping this different form of exercise for both Grom and I can help both of us shed a few pounds and enjoy winter in a different way than we are used to.