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7 Tips for Walking Your Dog This Winter

With the proper precautions, walking your dog in the winter is an easy and safe task. Get 7 tips for walking your dog in the winter, in our latest post!

Even in the harshest winter conditions your canine companion still requires exercise. Keeping a dog pent up in your home all winter can have serious negative consequences - dogs may turn to nervous habits like chewing furniture or destroying household objects to release energy.

With the proper precautions walking your dog in the winter is an easy task. Just follow these tips for safe winter walks:

  • Make sure your dog bundles up! Smaller dogs and breeds with short fur need additional insulation when exposed to low temps and snow. If you have a chihuahua or similar shorthair breed buy a dog vest or sweater. In fact, buy more than one in case one gets wet. Wet clothing can make your dog even colder outside, much like wet socks would make you cold and miserable.

  • Invest in some dog shoes for winter! Dog booties may be awkward for some dogs to adjust to, but if you can convince your furry friend to wear them they will be safer outside in the elements. Booties protect your dog from chemicals associated with winter, and ensure they don’t slip on the ice. If your dog refuses to wear booties consider applying a paw wax before your walk.

  • Avoid metal! We all probably know that a dog that licks a cold metal objects runs the risk of getting their tongue stuck, but there’s more danger lurking in the winter. The moisture of the snow combined with the possibility of corroded wires lurking near the metal means your dog could be electrocuted. Keep them on a tight leash and avoid questionable walking paths.

  • Don’t allow your pup to “graze” far from the sidewalk or to eat anything. Though we may consider snow to be harmless there are many harmful substances used to melt the ice and snow. Road salts, antifreeze, and hazardous chemical products can really wreak havoc on your dog’s health, so keep an eye on your dog and make sure they don’t ingest anything.

  • Plan ahead for the cold weather. Always check the temperature and the forecast before going outside. If you can, always walk your dog during the day when there’s plenty of sun. Temperatures drop even lower at night, increasing the chances that your pup can become overly cold. When it’s really freezing outside go for shorter walks.

  • Pay attention to signs from your dog and act accordingly. If your pup starts to shiver and shake while you’re walking it’s clearly time to head home. Whimpering is also a sign that your dog isn’t properly warm, or that their paws could be covered in ice.

  • Dress properly yourself so you can attend to your dog’s needs with all of your concentration. Wear plenty of layers, and wear some mitten lining in case you need to take off your gloves while cleaning up after your dog. Scarves, earmuffs, and a hat are essential. Invest in a pair of boots with topnotch traction and insulation so you can keep the heat in and walk confidently.

With this guide you can walk your dog every day in the winter without worry.