Winter walks with your pooch – five tips for success

Posted by Dr Dog. December 21st 2018. Tagged: Pet exercise and Winter pet care

Baby it’s cold outside! Now winter is here and the snow may soon start to fall, it can be tempting to curl up on the sofa with a good book or catch up on telly. However, exercise is essential for your dog, whatever the weather. Make sure you get out there for those winter walks.

Walking your dog in the snow or icy conditions does require a little forethought. With the right equipment and a bit of common sense, it can be as much fun as a stroll in the sun.

Here are our top five tips for safe and happy winter walking…

1. Look after little paws!

Freezing cold temperatures, icy snow and salt from grit can wreak havoc on dogs paws. It’s important to look after them when the temperatures plunge.

You may want to invest in a set of doggy boots. If your canine is a tad reluctant to sport the latest fashion, you can try rubbing their paws with a little vaseline before venturing out.

Just make sure that, on your return to the house, you wipe their paws down well. Salt and grit can cause irritation. A towel or flannel left near the door will do the trick.

Another good tip for icy conditions is to make sure your dog’s claws are trimmed back to avoid slipping on the ice.

2. Wrap up warm

Obviously it’s important for you both to keep toasty, but when you’re wrapping up with scarves and gloves, be mindful that your furry friend may require an extra layer, too, especially if they are small, short haired or senior.

Invest in a good, well-fitting coat that doesn’t restrict movement. And remember to remove it if the sun comes out to prevent overheating. A coat with reflective panels might be a good choice, as it can be difficult to keep sight of your dog in the snow or darker evenings.

3. Plenty of water

It can be easy to overlook adequate hydration in the winter months. But it’s just as crucial to provide water for your dog before and after a walk as it is in summer. Walking in the snow can be more energy consuming, so keep a look out for thirst.

Dogs can also be tempted to eat snow in the winter. Discourage this as snow can hide mess and potential dangers.

4. Make sure you microchip!

Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement, so make sure your dog is covered and your details are up to date. It’s not advised to let dogs off their leads in snowy conditions, as deep snow can be disorienting and they can get lost easily. If they do go astray, up to date contact information on their collars and microchips can help get them back home as soon as possible.

5. Be sensible, and head home

If the weather is just too severe, head home instead and snuggle up! Make sure your dog can go to the loo in the garden, and have some fun indoors instead to keep your pooch agile and shake off some excess energy. Practice some tricks, throw a soft ball and play games. Dogs love hide and seek, even if they do have a slight advantage with their super sense of smell! You can read more about some fun indoor games here.

If your pet has any winter mishaps, make sure they’re covered by pet insurance. Visit www.argospetinsurance.co.uk to find out more information about our policies.

Argos Limited is an Appointed Representative of Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited which is authorised and regulated as an insurance intermediary by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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