Tips For Walking Your Dog In The Winter05. December 2018
Winter is one of those times wherein everything we normally do in the other seasons gets harder to do. Cleaning gets harder, dressing gets more meticulous, and walking your dog, well, it also gets more complicated. Unlike in other seasons wherein walking your dog is just a breeze to do, in winter, there are a lot of things you have to consider and prepare before walking your dog. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to know all of these because walking your dog carelessly during winter has really serious implications and you do not want that for your beloved pooch.
Since December just started and snow is slowly building up outside, it is best that you learn these information for the welfare and safety of your dog. Read on below if you want to know some tips and guides on walking your dog during winter.
Tips For Walking Your Dog In Winter
- Keep your dog’s toe hair clipped
When walking your dog during winter, make sure that the toe hairs between your dog’s toes are clipped short. Ice can slowly build up and accumulate in these hairs making walking extremely hard and painful for your dog. These could also slow down your dog during walking.
- Let your dogs wear boots
Aside from clipping you dog’s toe hairs, you could also let them wear boots to protect them from the harsh environment during winter. Aside from this, boots can also provide extra insulation from the cold winds of winter. For dogs that do not need extra insulation for their paws, thin rubber boots is a good choice just for protection purposes. Moreover, boots can also protect the dogs from the chemicals or salts that are put around the street to remove ice.
- Prepare small sweaters for your dog
Since winter is characterized by cold winds and environment, allowing your dog to wear sweaters will totally help them withstand the cold. Plus, they look really cool and adorable adorned with cute sweaters! Just make sure to bring a couple whenever you and your pooch go out because a wet sweater or coat will make your dog colder than just his bare fur. Alternate your coats during your walk throughout the day. For easy dog sweater drying, put it in the dryer or over a heat vent.
- Wipe your dog’s paw after every walk
After walking your dog and arriving home, always remember to wipe his or her paws. You can use a warm damp cloth and then a towel to completely dry your dog’s paw. You could also use commercially available pet wipes for convenience. Wiping your dog’s paw helps in removing excess ice during the winter walks and also the salt and other chemicals before your dog licks them.
- Limit your dog’s walking times
On winter days wherein the weather seems to be too much, if it can’t be avoided, then just limit your dog’s walking time. Keep your walks short and watch out for the body language of your dogs. If your dog keeps on licking his paws, picking his paws, shivering, whining painfully, then you have to take him home immediately for there are signs that your dog is cold! Do not forget to let your pooch wear the prescribed outfit during winter walks!
- Watch your dog carefully during walking
Dogs have a habit of smelling and eating random things they found on the road. Be extra careful and watch your dog keenly during your winter walks to see if he or she ingests anything. Chemical products to melt ice, antifreeze, and road salt are common things to find in the road during winter, chances are, your dog might find these things and eat them. Feed your pet before walking to avoid these or bring treats to distract your dog from finding anything on the street. Bring also some water just in case your dogs get thirsty.
- The sidewalk is your best friend
Unless your dog is a Siberian Husky or any cold loving dog breed, then you might want to consider sticking to the sidelines during walking. When cold snow touches your dog’s bare belly, he or she will get cold much faster which is not good for your dog. Most dog breeds have unprotected bellies with no fur, making them more prone to cold. Stick to sidewalks clear of snow for safe walking.
- Plan ahead of time before walking
Since winter is a special case when walking your dog, planning ahead of time helps and assures you that your dog is in good hands when walking. Check the weather and the temperature before walking your dog. Sometimes, the weather can be much colder than what they broadcast on the television so checking it personally is recommended. You could also plan the walking route so that you could choose a path with less snow or with less people, just in case the weather acts up.
- Explore alternative options for your dog
There are times during winter where walking is not really possible, but you also do not want to compromise your dog’s exercise time. An easy solution for this is to try and explore alternative options to provide exercise for your dogs. You can sign up for an indoor class with your pooch or improvise and use your home as indoor space for dog exercising. Whatever it is, make sure that your dog gets enough activity so that his or her energy won’t manifest into destructive behavior.
Learn basic dog first aid
Just in case it happens, make sure that you know some basic dog first aid. Dog paws tend to split during winter and cause an open sore in your dog. If you know first aid, then you can immediately and easily tend to your dog’s health. You could also ask some tips from your veterinarian for further information and guidance.
Walking your dog during winter is not an easy walk in the park, but the benefits of walking surely outweighs the risks. Stay safe and healthy during winter walking with your dog!