Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Snow
Winter has officially arrived in many parts of the nation with temperatures dropping and snowfall becoming abundant. Despite the cold weather, your dog still needs to go outside to go to the bathroom. In this article, we will explore safety tips for walking your dog in the snow.
Watch the Signs
You know your dog. You live with him every day so pay close attention to his behavior when you are walking him in the cold. You probably donned a pair of snow boots and a full winter parka to stay warm, but Fido has only the fur on his back. You should never leave your pet unattended outside when it’s snowing. This is especially true for small dogs or canines with short hair. Is your dog whining or shivering? Is he begging to go back inside and does not want to go for a walk? These are signs that your dog is cold.
Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Feet
Some dogs will also try to lick their paws excessively in the snow which indicates that the dog is accumulating snowballs and pieces of ice between his toes which might be causing him pain. You’ll want to immediately take your dog into the house and warm his paws.
If your dog grows excessive hair between his toes then you’ll want to cut the hair back to prevent the snow and ice from building up. You might even want to invest in a set of dog boots for adverse weather conditions. This is especially true if you walk your dog in areas that use salt to de-ice the sidewalks and roads. The salt can easily harm your dog’s paws causing the pads to split.
Moisturize Fido’s Feet
Winter weather lacks humidity and your dog’s pads can rapidly start to dry out. You’ll want to apply a moisturizer to your dog’s paws every day to keep the pads supple and prevent them from cracking.
It’s tempting to turn to chemicals to de-ice the windshield of your car and your sidewalks, but the chemical is harmful to your pet’s feet. They can easily burn the paws if you take Fido for a walk and he encounters the solution.
Invest in a Sweater
Even a long-haired dog will appreciate a winter coat or sweater when it’s snowing outdoors. Why not dress your dog up before heading outdoors for a walk? Your four-legged buddy will like the added layers of warmth.
Don’t Eat the Snow
Some dogs want to eat the snow but consuming the white frozen stuff is not without risk. A little snow is probably fine if it is newly fallen but older snow might contain antifreeze or other contaminants that are dangerous. If your dog gets thirsty on your walk, bring a travel bowl and fresh water to let your pooch rehydrate instead of eating the snow.
When the world becomes a winter wonderland you can still enjoy an outdoor outing with your furry friend if you follow a few safety tips for walking your dog in the snow.