When it is cold during the winter months, it can be hard to find the motivation to take your dog out for a walk.
Particularly if the area where you live is prone to snow, ice or just very cold winds. However, skipping out on winter walks is not ideal for your dog’s physical health and mental well-being.
When you don’t take a dog out, even for short walks, you are robbing them of their chance to expel a lot of that pent-up energy they have. If they can’t get a release from walking, they vent it in less desirable ways. This may include barking, and causing destruction to furniture and other parts of your home you’d rather they left alone.
Which is why we wanted to give you a helping hand with these great winter dog walking safety tips, so that you and your four-legged friend stay safe.
Keep Their Feet Warm
Whether there is actual snow on the ground or it is just below freezing temperatures, it is a good idea to invest in dog booties for your canine buddy when you are taking them out. There is also the fact that when the weather is cold, they might be walking on ice melters or salts that can be dangerous for them. Ideally, you should look for booties that have bottoms that offer secure traction and straps made from Velcro to ensure they sit snugly on their feet. You can help get your dog used to the booties by teaching him or her to associate them with treats.
Protect Your Dog’s Bare Paws
Some dogs just don’t get on with booties, but don’t worry. There are alternatives in the form of gels that can be placed directly onto the pads to give them protection against the harshness wintertime. Petroleum jelly is another, more cost-effective alternative that does a similar job.
Invest in a Good Dog Coat
You wouldn’t walk in the open on a cold day without adequate protection for your body in the form of a jacket. The same is true of dogs. Waterproof dog coats are important for protecting your furry friend from the elements. Look for one that is not only built to deal with the low temperatures and repel moistures.
Make Sure You Use a Good Quality Strong Leash
Obviously, an important accessory you need for your dog when walking him or her is a leash and collar. If your dog is boisterous or pulls a lot, this can be a problem on slippery ground. Therefore, a harness with a front clip can minimise any pulling.
Don’t Expect Too Much
It is important to remember that it is different for your dog, walking them during winter than it is during warmer parts of the day. You need to be careful then to not expect more than your dog is capable in less friendly conditions. If it is a puppy, then you should train them to walk with a leash when conditions are more favourable.