Winter Walks: 9 Tips to Keep Your Furry Friend Cozy and Protected
Jan 02,2024 | Petbobi
January is Walk Your Pet Month, which means colder weather and potential snow interrupt your bonding time with your favorite pup. As the frosty chill of winter shortens the daylight and adds an extra shiver to your bones, you want to keep your four-legged friend as protected as possible whenever taking necessary dog walks.
At Petbobi, we want to help all our fantastic clients and dog lovers out there get the most out of winter walks this coming season. Here are some tips to keep your beloved pet warm, cozy, and ready for more when the weather turns cold.
Plan Ahead in Cold Weather
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. In this case, you want to do a little planning before adventuring on even a short dog walk around the block. Check your local weather report or smartphone app of choice to see the temperature outside. Be sure to look at the wind chill as well. Even a bright sunny day can cause damage to your pupper if the wind chill is severe.
Be sure to stay apprised of any potential rain, snow, or storm conditions. If nothing else, opt for shorter, more frequent walks instead of long excursions in the snow.
If Possible, Stick to the Daytime
Let the light shine in and give your doggo a superb winter walk in the sun. It’s great for visibility to keep you and your pup safe from passing vehicles or other pet owners out and about, as well as extra warmth when you need it most.
Remember, older dogs and puppies are both at higher risk of hypothermia, so having the sun back you up makes it much easier to avoid serious medical concerns.
Stick to the Sidewalk
Ice melt and rainwater runoff will quickly ruin your day. Soggy puppy feet may be funny in social media posts, but they can give your friend the shivers and destroy your freshly cleaned rug at home.
Cleared sidewalks are your friend. They prevent your pet from licking any salts or chemicals that can be hazardous and give you a safe pathway to where you want to explore next.
Keep Your Dog’s Toe Hair Clipped Short
An often-overlooked detail of your pet’s grooming routine is the long, furry hair between their toes. The fuzz between the toe pads will gather slushy snow, salt, and grit, which becomes a genuine pain to clear out later.
Keeping that hair short helps avoid colder injuries or slippage on the ice. Plus, it is simply more comfortable for your pooch. They’ll appreciate the extra attention to detail.
Dress for Winter Walk Success
Dog booties and coats are a necessity. As the temperature gets low, not all breeds can maintain that crucial body heat, so they are safe and comfortable. Investing in an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional dog coat is a surefire way to boost their comfort levels during Walk Your Pet Month and beyond.
Look for thicker, waterproof booties, and take your time training your dog to wear them. It helps to practice indoors for a while so you and they are used to how the booties will affect your walking patterns and strides.
Keep a Tight Leash
You do not want your beloved pet to get lost in the snow. The colder air and inches of precipitation can mask smells, making it much harder for a loose dog to find an owner. Keep your pet under control and on a leash.
Our Petbobi Dog Tie-Out Cable is a great choice. You get up to 20’ of free-roaming space anchored to a central location, so you always know where your pet is located. That way, they can play in the snow, then come inside for some drying off by the fire and much-needed tummy rubs.
Apply First Aid
Winter walks will bring some unpredictability. Maybe a storm surge catches you off-guard, or you notice your pup being a little more lethargic than usual. A good idea is to keep a winter first aid kit handy, just in case. These may include:
- Waterproof materials for a bag
- Dog clothing (sweater, coat, jacket, etc.)
- Paw wax for cracked pads
- Towel and blanket
- Second harness and leash
- Emergency contacts
- Tweezers, scissors, and antibiotic creams
Don’t Let Your Dog Graze
Dog walks involve exploring scents, sights, and fellow pooches you may not notice before your pet does. As part of that sensory-heavy discovery, your doggo will likely try to eat some snow or leftover ice.
The problem here is that you never know what is inside that snow. There could be de-icing chemicals or road salts hiding inside that freshly made snowball. Also, if they overeat snow, that could lower their internal body temperature, putting them in more danger of hypothermia. Best to avoid the problem altogether.
Shine Bright with Reflective Gear
Even the middle of the day can bring whiteout conditions. Be sure to throw on a reflective vest and an LED collar for your pup. This will help you stay visible to all drivers, fellow winter walkers, and other people/pets in the area.
If you must go out at night, reflective gear is a must-have. You do not want a holiday reveler to ruin your quick jaunt outside when your puppy needs to relieve themselves.
Step into Comfy and Safety for Your Frosty Strolls!
Winter walks are a magical time to enjoy the great outdoors and experience the world together with your pup. However, not knowing the temperature or being underprepared for the chill can lead to serious medical concerns.
Stay warm, comfortable, and ready to roam by following these tips. Pick up the Dog Tie-Out Leash, toss on the dog booties, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s to another successful Walk Your Pet Month with your pet wrapped in the warmth of your care and attention.