Winter dog walks: Safety tips
Walking in a winter wonderland! The weather is cold and there may be snow on the ground, but our furry companions still require daily exercise. Here are a few tips for walking your furry friend in the cold winter months:
6 Tips for winter dog walks
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 their 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. Young and old dogs, as well as short-coated breeds and dogs with health issues may need extra care in cold weather. They may need a warm sweater or coat to keep them warm. Even though your pup is bundled up, make sure you keep careful watch for signs that your dog is too cold.
Read our blog “Cool” test: How to tell if 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, which can be fatal if ingested.
Shorter days means less daylight for walking your dog. If you plan to walk your dog during times when it’s very dark out, consider products 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 its negative impacts on your furry friend.
To learn more about keeping your dog warm on winter walks, read our blog.
Wish to thank everyone involved
I wish to thank everyone involved in the care and rescue of animals, especially volunteers.