When the winter weather kicks in, we and our dogs like to snuggle inside where it is warm and cozy- However, it is still important that we ensure that our dogs remain active in those winter months! We have some tips below to help you and your dog ensure that you get the most out of those winter walks. Watch our segment with KELOLAND Living here!
Prepare: We are lucky that there are a lot of options out there for us to help keep our dogs warm! Dogs who have very short fur will benefit from layering. Dogs with thicker coats may only need an outer jacket when temperatures get quite cold. When our dogs go outside it is likely that the first part of them to get cold will be their paws! Booties are a great way to help give their feet a little extra protection. Some dogs do take a while to get used to booties, so take it slow and help them learn that booties are great!
Understand: Walks will help with weight maintenance and decrease boredom as our friends get out to explore the sights and smells of the neighborhood! This works their brain and helps them to settle when we are back inside. Shy dogs, especially, will benefit from getting out to experience new and novel things and having a good experience while doing so.
Plan: We can still get outside with our pets for walks, but there are a few things that we need to consider – like the air temperature, age of our dog and their breed, and how these things affects their time outside. As temperatures fall, we should be taking shorter walks, especially with older dogs, young puppies, small dogs, and short nosed breeds who may not be able to keep warm as well.
Start: When we are going out in the winter, there are some safety items for us to consider as well! There are cleats that we can put on the bottom of our shoes to help us gain traction on icy sidewalks and keep up with our four-legged friends safely. Since there is less daylight in the winter, do your best to remain as visible as possible. Wear bright colors yourself and be sure to have reflective or light up gear on you and your dog.
We hope you use these tips to stay warm and keep active during these winter months – and hold tight, because summer will be right around the corner!