A Guide to Safely Walking Your Dog In Winter

04th December 2023 3 min read

Tips on how to keep your dog warm and safe whilst having walkies during colder spells of weather.

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As the temperature drops and winter sets in, it's essential to ensure that our furry companions stay warm and safe during outdoor activities. Cold weather can be tough on dogs, affecting their health and well-being. Just because your pooch is covered in fur, doesn't mean they cannot feel the cold like we do. In this blog, we'll explore top tips on how to keep your dog warm and secure during winter walks, including guidelines for deciding when it's too cold to go outside.

  • Check the Weather Before Heading Out: Before venturing into the winter wonderland with your dog, check the weather forecast. Extreme cold, high winds, or freezing rain can pose serious threats to your pup's health. If the conditions are unfavourable, consider indoor play or find alternative ways to provide exercise.
  • Know Your Dog's Limits: Just like humans, dogs have different tolerances for cold weather. Breeds with thick coats may be more resistant to the cold than those with short hair. Older dogs, puppies, and those with health issues may also be more susceptible to the cold. Observe your dog's behaviour during walks and adjust the duration and intensity accordingly.
  • Invest in Quality Thermal Coats: A thermal coat is a must-have accessory for winter walks. These coats provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping your dog warm and protected from the biting cold. Choose a coat that covers your dog's chest and belly, as these areas are more susceptible to cold winds. Waterproof options are ideal for snowy or wet conditions.
  • Protect Their Paws: Wash your pup's paws after a wintery walk. Roads and paths are often covered in grit and chemicals which can cause irritation. Wash in warm, soapy water. Grit is made up of salt. If dogs are licking this from their paws, the high salt content can eventually cause kidney issues so washing paws is very important. You can buy protective booties for your dog (some dogs will not like this so test around the house first).
  • Keep Them Dry: Wet fur can make your dog feel even colder. Towel-dry your pup thoroughly after a walk to remove any moisture and prevent them from getting chilled. If your dog enjoys playing in the snow, limit the time spent in wet conditions to avoid discomfort and potential health issues.
  • Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine: Regular exercise is crucial for your dog's overall well-being. If outdoor walks are limited due to extreme weather, find creative indoor activities to keep your pup active and engaged. Interactive toys, indoor fetch, and obedience training are excellent alternatives.
  • Create a Cosy Retreat Indoors: After a chilly walk, make sure your dog has a warm and comfortable place to rest indoors. Provide them with a cosy bed or blanket in a draft-free area. Consider placing a warm water bottle or heating pad beneath their bedding for added warmth.

Winter walks can be enjoyable for both you and your dog with proper preparation and attention to their well-being. By investing in quality thermal coats, protecting their paws, and monitoring weather conditions, you can ensure that your furry friend stays warm, safe, and happy during the colder months. Remember, every dog is unique, so be attentive to their individual needs and adjust your winter routine accordingly.

Further Reading

22nd February 2024

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