All dogs love walks! And when the weather is perfect, we love them too! But when the weather turns cold, and the paths turn icy, how safe is it to walk your pup? There’s a lot to keep in mind with cold weather. It’s vital that don’t let your dog out if it’s too cold for them, so always keep a close eye on the temperature. Stay away from ice and beware of grit. You should also find something visible for your dog to wear to keep them from disappearing.
This article will give you advice on how to handle those cold, winter walks and keep your beloved pet safe.
READ MORE: The Worst Locations in the UK for Dog Fouling
Check The Temperature Before Walking
Depending on your dog’s breed, it may be too cold for your dog to go out on winter walks. Before heading out, check the temperature and if you’re unsure, refer to the chart below which breaks down the risk level depending on your dogs weight, along with other factors that could put your dog at risk.
Image credit: FetchPet
Keep Your Dog On The Lead If It’s Snowing
Snow can cause poor visibility, and if your dog is off lead it could lead to your dog getting lost. If the snowfall is particularly heavy, there may be deep patches or holes and unsafe areas. Keep your dog on lead to prevent them from falling and potentially injuring themselves.
Ensure Your Dog Is Wearing a Collar With An ID Tag, And They Are Microchipped
It’s important that the microchipping database is up to date with your address and current contact information.
Don’t Allow Your Dog To Walk On Frozen Ponds And Lakes
Ice can be deceiving and extremely dangerous. If your dog is on a frozen pond, it may not be strong enough to hold their weight and they could fall through. Should this be the case, encourage them to swim back to you and call emergency services as soon as possible.
Check Your Dogs Collars And Leads
Damp conditions and wet weather can cause metal to rust, so be sure to check your dogs lead clips and harnesses.
Wipe Their Paws
Be sure to wipe your dog’s paws when you come in, to remove salt and grit. This prevents their paw pads getting sore and stops your dog ingesting salt and ice-melting chemicals.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Visible
With less sunlight, consider purchasing a LED collar or lead for your dog to ensure that you and your dog are visible to drivers. Alternatively, walking earlier in the day means you will be more visible to oncoming vehicles and will likely be warmer.
How To Keep Your Dog Active In Winter
Keep Your Dog Active Indoors And Outdoors
In extremes of temperature and bad weather, you may find you’re spending more time inside instead of going on winter walks. Provide your dog with enrichment games and long-lasting tasty treats that can keep them mentally stimulated.
Change Your Route
Walking different routes allows your dog to experience new smells and surroundings, and changing up your route provides an exciting change to your dog’s routine.
Teach Your Dogs New Tricks
Even if your dog is trained and knows multiple tricks, being indoors in the cold weather is a great opportunity to teach your dog new tricks and skills. This means bonding time for yourself and your dog – and also is a mentally enriching and stimulating activity.”
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