1st February 2016

Tips for Winter Dog Walks

The weather has been far from great of late and as we are only now officially approaching winter, it is sure to get worse. That means less daylight hours and more chance of ice and snow, not the best conditions to be walking your pooch in!

Here are some tips to make your winter dog walks that bit more bearable:

Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion

Something so simple but it is so easy to be underprepared. There’s nothing worse than feeling the cold ten minutes into your walk and, as most dogs need between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day, it is best to get your thermals out especially if the temperatures are seasonally low. With the influx of wet weather it is also a good idea to invest in waterproofs and some wellies to make sure you stay dry.

Have all the gear and all the idea

You will of course need to have the usual gear with you such as poo bags and a lead but, if you going for a walk in the dark, take a torch and ensure that you’re mobile phone is fully charged. It is also good practice to let someone know where you are going just in case you run into any trouble. Before you do head out for a long walk, check the local weather report to ensure you’re not about to run into any harsh weather conditions. It is also a good idea to have a reflective collar or coat for your dog.

Be wary of what your dog is picking up

While you should always be vigilant of what your dog may pick up, snow is something your dog should not be eating! Chemicals and sharp objects could be found hidden within snow and both of these things can be extremely harmful to your pet pooch. Make sure you are aware of what your dog has picked up at all times.

Sweaters and booties

If you have a small dog or one with short fur it is worth considering getting a coat or jumper for your dog to wear for long winter walks. Chihuahuas, greyhounds, whippets, miniature pinschers and similar dogs don’t have long enough fur coats or enough body heat to stay warm so they may need an extra layer. Dog booties are also a good idea, as dogs don’t have a lot of fur on their feet. Not only will booties help keep your dog warm they will help with grip and prevent cuts from sharp objects.

Finally, safety comes first!

Exercising your dog is extremely important, however if weather conditions are bad, safety is paramount. While you can be prepared for most conditions, extreme weather is best to be avoided and there are plenty of indoor activities which will give your dog the exercise and mental stimulation it needs.