Much to the dismay of many dog owners, the time of year for cold, snowy walks are just around the corner! Whether your dog loves or just tolerates, the snow, these five tips will keep them safe on your winter walks.
BOOTS AND JACKETS
Not only are dog jackets and boots adorable, they play an important role in keeping your pet safe and warm! Just like humans, dogs sometimes need an extra layer to preserve heat when they’re outdoors. When choosing a jacket for your dog, make sure that it is large enough for them to move around comfortably and it should never inhibit their ability to breathe or go to the bathroom.
Dog boots are designed to not only keep your pet’s feet warm, but also to protect them from chemicals and salt that are used on the roads and sidewalk. If your dog absolutely won’t walk in boots, paw balm or Vaseline can provide a layer of protection.
REFLECTIVE CLOTHING OR ACCESSORIES
With the sun setting earlier every day, it’s important that you and your pet are visible when walking at night. Wearing reflective clothing, such as vests or jackets, and accessories, such as leashes and collars, will make it easier for drivers to see you. If you don’t own reflective clothing, carrying a flashlight or using a small light up key chain also increase your visibility.
NO EATING SNOW
We tell this to our children, but rarely to our pets! Snow may look like a tasty treat to our pets, but hidden in it could be dangerous substances such as anti-freeze or other slow and ice clearing chemicals. If ingested, these toxic substances could lead to serious illness or even death.
PAY ATTENTION TO BODY LANGUAGE
Always pay close attention to your dog’s body language while on your walk; it’s the easiest way to tell if it’s time to go home. If you notice you dog starting to whimper, shake, lift their paws, or try and head in the direction of home, these are clear signs that they are too cold. Ideally, you want to avoid these behaviours so plan a route that will provide enough exercise without unnecessarily prolonging the time spent outdoors.
MONITOR THE OUTDOOR TEMPERATURE
This one is pretty easy: if it’s too cold for you to be outside it’s probably too cold for your dog! On days of extreme cold, limit the time that your pet spends outdoors. If they do need to go on a walk, try to make it a very quick trip up the street or even just around your property.
By following these five winter walking tips, you and your pet will stay safe and warm all winter long! If you have any questions about protecting your pet from the cold or anything else, give us a call. Our team is here to answer any of your questions!