When the winter arrives and the temperatures get colder, many people prefer to spend much of their time indoors. This is understandable, particularly in wet and windy weather. But does your dog prefer being indoors when it is cold and wet? Furthermore, is it even okay to walk a dog in this weather?
Is it Too Cold for Your Dog?
Humans can wrap up warm in the winter by adding layers of clothing, putting on heavy coats, and donning hats and scarves. But what about our dogs?
Most dogs are happy to go out for a walk, whatever the weather. If your dog is eager to get outside, even in the cold, then it is okay to take him. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure it is a bit more comfortable for your furry friend.
When the temperatures are low, it is best to walk the dog during the day if you can. The temperatures are much likely to be lower in the early morning and evening, so if you can, walk your dog at lunchtime.
The experts at Voyager Harness say that a winter walk kit for dogs should include a coat or sweater, particularly for older dogs or puppies and those with short coats that might be more susceptible to colder temperatures. If your dog will wear walking boots, you should use them, especially when salt has been put down on pavements where you normally walk. Road salt can irritate your pet’s paws and become painful. If he is not keen to walk in boots, cover his paws with a protective wax-based balm before his walk but be sure to wipe this away when you get home, or it will be traipsed all over your house.
Dog coats for the winter should be water resistant and warm. It will help to keep them insulated and dry. Look for a machine-washable coat or sweater so that it can be easily washed and dried.
Tips for Walking Dogs in the Winter
When it comes to walking dogs in the winter, extra care is required, particularly when it is dark or after it has been snowing. You should keep your dog on the lead when walking at night and make sure that his collar and coat is reflective.
Keep the dog on the lead after it has been snowing too as lying snow can cover areas that are not safe, such as potholes. There is also a risk of your dog running onto frozen bodies of water when off the lead in the winter, which could result in him falling through the ice.
What if Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Go Out?
Some dogs just don’t fancy going outside in cold and wet weather, much the same way that humans don’t. If your dog is reluctant to go outside for a winter walk, there are other ways to ensure he gets some exercise.
You can play fetch with a ball or toy in the house just as you probably did when he was a puppy. If you and your dog are up for it, you could always run up and down the stairs with him following. However, you need to be careful not to get in each other’s way.
Dogs also love to play tug of war, so why not buy a heavy-duty rubber or rope toy you can play with together inside.
To conclude, you don’t have to stop walking your dog in the winter. If he wants to go out, there is no reason why he shouldn’t. Just make sure he is kept warm and keep your walks short.