Guide to walking your dog in the snow by Lucy Wyndham

Enjoying Winter Walks With Your Dog

The clocks have changed and autumn is well and truly underway – and with the darker evenings, it’s going to start feeling like winter all too soon. Plodding round the park in the dark and the rain doesn’t sound too inviting – but every dog needs their daily walks to stay happy and healthy. You can really feel the benefit of a dog walking service during the winter months, but if you’re still heading out with your four-legged friend yourself, here’s some of our top tips for winter dog walking.

What are they getting up to?

Keeping a close eye their behaviour in the cold is one of the best ways to check if your dog is  enjoying your winter walk. Small, young, or old dogs are more susceptible to the cold, as well as breeds with short coats – but any dog can start to feel the chill if they’re soaked through on a chilly day. If a dog stays wet for too long, it is more difficult for them to warm up their core temperature. Starting to walk slower or taking more frequent breaks can be an indicator that your dog has had enough, especially if they are normally flying around at 90 miles an hour. Bathroom breaks are another sign: if your dog starts going more or less frequently, it could indicate that they are becoming dehydrated. Watch out for limping too, which indicates discomfort in the paws. Ice and snow can become lodged between the toes, and the grit or salt used on paths in winter can be irritating to their pads.

Cosy solutions

Luckily there is a whole host of solutions available on the market to make winter walkies more comfortable for your dog.

  • A good investment is a waterproof coat to help keep your dog dry, and therefore warm – they can also help to keep the worst of the mud off! Get one which is machine washable for ease, and consider a thick liner too if your dog really feels the cold.

  • Paws need protection too, so look into special dog boots which are designed to protect the paws from grit to salt, ice, and damp. If your dog isn’t keen on these, you could always try a wax-based protective balm used by husky mushers.

  • Consider a reflective collar and lead set, or some kind of LED light on the collar, to make sure that your dog is easy to spot in low light levels.

 Snow and mud are fun to play in, but can hide dangers within – so keep a close eye on your dog, and stay on a shorter leash than normal if necessary. Keep yourself and your doggy friend wrapped up warm and enjoy this special time of year.