Well, so far this winter hasn't been too bad! When the harsh weather does hit you may be tempted to skip your morning and/or evening walk. Your pet still needs exercise regardless of the temperature. Think of yourself as the postmaster of your dog, able to walk in rain, snow or whatever mother nature throws at you...except you don't get to take holidays off!
Walking tips for you! 1) Layers, layers layers. You may not look pretty but you'll be warm and that makes all the difference, besides your pet won't care one way or the other how you look, they'll just be happy to be out and expending energy.
2) Wear sensible soled boots that are warm and keep your feet dry. Flat soles will keep you from slipping and injuring yourself. If the roads or surfaces are icy consider purchasing ice cleats to avoid slipping and sliding.
3) Keep your head and hands covered. The less heat escaping the warmer you will be. If your dog is a puller make sure you have gloves that can hold onto the leash.
4) It gets dark earlier, make sure you have a reflective vest or leash to make you visible. Always be road safe and try to walk at less busy times.
Walking tips for your dog! 1) Purchase a safety light for your dogs collar. This makes it easier for others to see and if you do let them off leash in a safe area you can easily see where they are. You can also make sure the leash is covered with reflective tape so your animals is visible while walking on the side of the road or in heavy traffic areas.
2) Older pets and those with short hair may not be able to take the colder temperatures. If they will wear a coat, great! If not shorten your walks and do several throughout the day so they are still getting out and about.
3) Booties for your dog? Yes, of course, their feet can easily be irritated by ice, salt and cold surfaces. Booties can be problematic on icy surfaces and can cause slips or falls. If they can not tolerate them on their feet try smearing on petroleum jelly or specially designed gels that are pet safe. Make sure you clean their feet upon returning home and don't let them lick their paws. Keep the fur between their paws trimmed to prevent snow from balling up and making the walk miserable.
4) Use common sense! If your pet is tugging at the leash wanting to go back home, lifting up their paws or shaking, listen to them and head back home. Snuggling up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate and your best friend might be just the thing to do!
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