Tips for a Safe Dog Walk This Winter
While winter dog walking can sometimes be a challenge, it’s important to meet your dog’s exercise needs all year round—even in the winter. Not only will this keep your dog physically active during the winter months, it’ll also provide much needed mental stimulation for your dog.
Here are some safety tips when walking your dog this winter:
Shorter walks on very cold days
While walking your dog regularly is essential, it’s a good idea to limit the length of time your dog walks when the weather is especially severe. To make sure your dog meets it’s regular exercise requirements, you can supplement your walks with some fun indoor activities.
Always keep your dog on a leash
Winter often means reduced visibility, and in heavy snowfall dogs can quickly lose your scent and become lost. Making sure your dog is always on a leash during dog walks will safeguard your dog from becoming separated from you in bad weather. The leash will also protect your dog around potentially dangerous areas like bodies of water. These areas can be dangerous since the surface may not be fully frozen or water levels may be higher from melted snow.
Some breeds of dogs are better at handling the cold than others. If your dog isn’t equipped for winter weather, make sure your dog has a warm sweater or coat to keep him warm. Even though your pup is bundled up, make sure you keep careful watch for signs that your dog is too cold.
Keep away from winter puddles
Puddles in the winter can contain invisible toxins such as de-icing chemicals or antifreeze, both of which can be fatal if ingested.
Shorter days usually means less daylight when you walk your dog. If you plan to walk your dog during times when it’s very dark out, you may want to invest in a product that will increase your visibility, such as light-up collars and leads, or gear with reflective strips.
Winter paw care
Winter can be harsh on your dog’s paws. Make sure you check your dog’s paws regularly to look for signs of dryness, cracks or irritation. Check out our post on winter paw care for more information on protecting your dog’s paws.
The winter season can be hard on all of us, but following these tips will help minimize it’s negative impacts on your pets.
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