Five Tips for Winter Dog Walks
It’s freezing in Hampton Roads! I wish we would at least get some snow if it’s going to be this cold! Recently I was told by our vet that Chuy needs to drop a few pounds. It made me question if I could still take him for walks in the winter. The vet said that dogs can walk in the cold weather but of course there are a few things you should be aware of. Here are five tips to enjoy dog walks in the winter!
Sweaters and coats are not just a fashion statement! If you need a coat, chances are your dog would benefit from wearing a sweater or coat. It’s an added layer of warmth that will keep them comfortable in frigid temps.
Keep Walks Short
Walks in the winter should be short and brisk as to avoid frostbite and exposure to the elements. If your dog is showing any of the signs below, it’s time to bring them in immediately.
- Appearing anxious
- Slowing down
- Stopping movement
- Looking for places to burrow
A lot of times dogs can get dehydrated in the winter because we only associate this with extreme heat. Provide plenty of fresh water before and after a walk with your dog. I clip on a Bliss Paws bowl to Chuy’s leash so I can give him water on the go.
Lucky for us in Hampton Roads, it doesn’t snow too often. When it does snow or freeze, sidewalks and driveways are frequently topped with chemicals like antifreeze and rock salt. As you walk through your neighborhood, you may not realize your dog has stepped in something like this. Always wipe your dog’s paws off after a walk in the winter to avoid them ingesting any toxic chemicals.
Check for Frostbite
Frostbite can affect both humans and pets and doesn’t take long to set in when temps are extreme. Just like I mentioned already, please limit the amount of exposure during extremely cold weather. Keep an eye on your dog’s ear tips and tail as they have the highest risk for frostbite. If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian ASAP!
PS – Please do not leave your pets outside during extreme cold temperatures. They should be indoors where it’s safe and warm.
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