Walking Dog’s in The Winter?
Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can be problematic weather. However, that doesn’t stop Fido from needing his daily walk. While walking your dog’s in the winter keep him safe and comfortable with these tips.
Dog Walking In Winter
Short and Sweet
Keep your winter walks shorter to help prevent hypothermia or frostbite. Watch for cues from your dog that he may be to cold. Things like whining, slowing down, looking for a place to under, or shivering are signs to look for. If you see any of these take him home to get warmed up right away.
No Grinch Paws
Keep the hair around your dogs feet and toes clipped short. In cold temperatures ice can build up and make it painful for your dog to walk. For dogs that need some extra warmth around their paws there are boots you can use to cover his feet. Another option are rubber boots that you can slip over the paw that doesn’t constrict movement. These are great options to keep your dogs feet warmer and dry.
We all know it gets dark pretty early in the wintertime. Walking in the day is safer as you and your pup are more visible to drivers. Also the daytime is generally a bit warmer than early morning or late evening hours. However, life happens and it’s not always feasible to walk in the day. If you must go at other times bring a flashlight so others are better able to see you during low visibility and bad weather conditions.
Parka For The Pooch
While some dogs have their own fur coat that can help them endure cooler temperatures, some just do not. For those that don’t, a sweater or (parka) jacket may be appropriate. Sweaters for dogs are more than just a fashion statement, they are practical too. Protect your dog from getting cold, wet and chilled with a winter coat.
Wipe Your Paws
After you get your dog back inside from their walk in the winter wonderland be sure to wipe your dog’s paws. By cleaning off your his paws you can remove the chemicals from the ice melt and salt that is often applied to sidewalks and such during winter while snowy and icy. You wouldn’t want him to ingest any of those chemicals. A quick wipe with a warm wet washcloth and a towel to dry will do the trick. If you don’t have access to water, a pet wipe will suffice.
Moisturize Your Dog’s Paws
Just as humans get dry cracked skin in the winter so do dog’s paws. After you have thoroughly cleaned and dried his paws be sure to apply a moisturizer. Pets lick their paws so you should use a moisturizer that is safe for dogs and non-toxic. I love coconut oil for this, it’s natural and most dogs enjoy the taste. Another benefit when they do (and you know they will) lick their paws is they can get some healthy fats in their diet. It’s also a really great moisturizer.
Walking Dog Less In Winter
While it’s important for your dog to stay active in the winter they is no sense for your pet suffer outside during the coldest months. Look for alternative ways for Fido to get his exercise. Play fetch, entice him to a game of hide and seek by hiding toys or treats around the house, go up and down the stairs swiftly with him. Check into indoor dog walking areas or dog classes. When dog’s don’t get the exercise they require they often get bored and resort to acting out behavior
Say No To Eating Snow
While it may be next to impossible to keep your dog from consuming snow, try to limit his intake. Eating snow does pose health risks to your dog. While a small amount is not likely to cause any damage, large amounts could. Often times there are harmful chemicals in the snow as well as since you cannot see through the snow there could be sharp or otherwise harmful objects under the snow. As always when you are walking your dog you should bring a fresh supply of drinking water, which is much more quenching his thirst than snow would be.
Don’t Forget The Leash
Some dogs love bouncing and playing in the snow. Unfortunately this is not a good idea. Without a leash dogs are more likely to get stuck in a snow drift or find their way to icy waterways. To protect your pooch from these hidden dangers you should always keep your dog on a leash when outdoors and try to walk on sidewalks that have been plowed.
Challenges are in more abundance walking your dog’s in the winter. However, following these safety tips makes it possible to not only do so but do so and have fun and comfortable. Using common sense can help ensure your winter dog walks are safe and enjoyable. Being a pet parent can be a trying job. Make sure to take care of yourself to by bundling up and wearing good traction shoes and reflective gear. Your pet needs you safe and we do too!