Winter Dog Walking Tips
Winters in some areas are quite harsh and you are most likely to be snowed in. So what do dog owners do in these conditions? Unless your dog is an Alaskan or Siberian husky and prefers the snow, you need to take a few cautious measures during winters. Dogs need to maintain their level of activity throughout the year regardless of the season.
Outdoor activities are indispensable to your dog’s mental and physical health. If your companion is an ESA you need to take care of their mental health as much as they take care of yours. If you are in an area where it snows heavily, these are a few tips that may come in handy.
Protect the paw
Paws are covered with delicate skin that can get blistered easily, especially in winters. Everything is covered in snow and it can be quite a challenge protecting your dog’s feet. Besides being cold, snow also contains chemicals and salt that is extremely harmful to your companion’s skin. Get a pair of dog boots or if your dog does not feel comfortable in them, then opt for a paw-balm. If you do not have access to the balm you can apply a nice thick layer of petroleum jelly to clean and dried paws.
Snowdrifts can cover anything, even sharp objects that can be harmful to your dog. Try to keep your dog on the same path as you and do not let them wander off towards snowdrifts. You can always choose to go to the dog park where you do not see any hazards.
Do not let your dog lick
Dogs love to experience things and can be drawn towards the temptation of trying the cold-white snow. However, it is necessary that you keep a close eye on your companion and prevent them from tasting ice.
Frozen snow can contain salts and chemicals that are extremely harmful to your pet. In some cases, this can also be fatal. If your puppy tries to sneak in a lick, immediately rinse off their tongue or take them back in.
Dogs want to go outdoors and it is not much you can do about it. But, you can get creative and create a play area for your dog in your backyard. You can shovel snow to create a path for your dogs to run around in, or create mounds that they can jump over. This is the safest place for your dog to play in.
Most breeds are fine to walk in the cold for shorter periods of time. This is not the same for smaller breeds or elderly dogs; they need something to keep them warm. There are a variety of dog-jackets that can be found, make sure your dog is comfortable wearing one. Also, a sturdy leash is necessary to keep your furry friend on track.
Dress yourself first
It is necessary that you are fully dressed to go out. If you are feeling cold or unwell you will not be able to guide your dog properly. Get gloves that have a firm grip and shoes that do not slide easily. Get a pair of waterproof shoes or snow-boots that are comfortable to move in.
Avoid ice and metal
Make sure that our dog stays away from icy patches in the snow as they can break. Always keep your dog away from metal objects as they are good conductors of electricity and you never know what is lying under the heap of snow.
Preventative measures will get your dog through the winter with an adequate level of activity. Try to reduce the time you spend out in the snow and play ore indoor games with your puppy.