Regardless of the weather, your pup needs regular walks to stay calm and fit. What are the best ways to make sure your dog stays safe and healthy during cold winter walks? Here are four tips:
1. Dress for the weather.
In addition to being adorable, winter jackets can keep your pup warm against the elements. Although some breeds have thick coats, short-haired dogs and small breeds are particularly vulnerable to the cold. Look for a brightly colored coat that covers your dog’s back, chest, and belly. If you’re taking extended walks on icy, snowy surfaces, consider investing in boots as well – especially if they may be traipsing over de-icing salts and other chemicals. There are also waxes and gels that can help protect their precious paws.
2. No retractable leashes.
In winter weather, you need to use a leash that gives you maximum control in case your dog slips on an icy surface. A harness may give you even more control, especially when combined with a traditional, non-retractable leash.
3. Monitor your dog.
During your walk, watch for signs that your dog is becoming distressed or uncomfortable. If they’re shaking or trying to head toward home, it may be a sign that they have had enough of the cold. The colder it is, the closer an eye you should keep on your dog.
4. Do after-walk care.
After your walk, your dog will need some special attention. Wash off any antifreeze or salt, checking their paws and their belly. Then give them some rubs and scritches for being such good pups!