Winter Walking With Your Dog

Travel & Life |

Winter is here! It seems like the snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This may leave you with questions about taking your dog out for a walk. Don’t worry, we will address some common questions as well as give some helpful tips!

Winter is here! It seems like the snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  This may leave you with questions about taking your dog out for a walk.  Don’t worry, we will address some common questions as well as give some helpful tips!

A common concern that should never be over looked is “Is it too cold for my dog to go for a walk?”  This is a very good question and should always be considered. 

There is no exact temperature that says dogs should stay indoors.  It depends on many factors, including the size and breed of your dog.  Some breeds like the cold weather, while other breeds are more sensitive to the colder climate.  Some easy signs to watch for to help gauge your dog’s sensitivity to the cold are:

  1. Holding its’ paws up
  2. Shivering

If you notice your dog reacting like this, then it may be a good idea to head back inside. 

However, many dogs enjoy the winter.  Your dog may do these things to tell you:

  1. Running around
  2. Jumping in and out of the snow
  3. Using its body to act like a snow plow

@cheryldurst

These are all good signs and tell you that your dog is truly enjoying the weather.  Despite their positive indications that they are enjoying the cold, it is important to remember that like us, dogs will also have a tolerance level to withstand the cold weather, and to pay close attention to signs that they are no longer enjoying themselves outside.

When you’re out on a walk there are many different things that you should look out for in the winter to ensure the safety of your dog.  An important one is the use of ice melt products.  Many can be toxic to your dog and possibly burn their paws.

If you see some on the ground, a good practice is to encourage your dog to walk through the snow and around the product.  Or, if your dog is on the smaller side, possibly pick them up and carry them over top of it.  It’s important that when you return home, you wipe their paws off with a towel to ensure it doesn’t get accidently ingested while they lick their paws later.  There are several great pet-friendly ice melt options for use on your own property, which offer a great alternative to harsh, toxic products.

Another common question is whether or not a winter jacket for your dog is needed.  If you notice your dog tends to get cold quickly then this may be beneficial.  Make sure to get one that fits fairly snug but doesn’t limit the mobility.  This will help them through colder winter days.

@canadapooch

Like jackets, you may wonder if boots are required for winter walks.  If your dog is accepting to wearing boots, they provide great traction on slippery sidewalks, and help protect the paws from salt, ice melting chemicals, and cold weather.  Like our skin, a dog’s paw is also susceptible to cracking and drying with overexposure to cold and drying climates.

Good habits to get into are keeping your dog on a leash and stay aware of cars on the road.  With ice and snow, cars aren’t able to stop and turn as well as they should.  So just be mindful of cars sliding through cross walks.

The winter doesn’t have as much sunlight as the summer.  This means it won’t be uncommon for you to go for walks when it’s very dark out.  Wearing something reflective, such as clothing, collars or tags, makes you more visible in the dark will not only help protect your dog, but you and others as well.