It might not be something you’ve really given too much thought to before, but the way you walk your dog during different seasons can vary drastically.
People usually know about the dangers of walking during the hot (if we’re lucky) summer - but winter can also come with its challenges!
Don’t avoid the walks altogether if conditions are a little treacherous, instead swat up on how to look after your fur baby during those colder, frostier times so that they’re comfortable, happy, warm and safe.
Winter months come armed with early dark nights, meaning you might find yourself on the evening walk in complete darkness.
It’s really important that both you and the pooch are visible to cars and other passers-by. You might be able to see them, but it doesn’t mean they can see you.
Invest in a reflective coat, collar or harness for your pooch so they’re bright and visible and there’s less risk of any accidents occurring. Safety first!
Just like us, dogs feel that big drop in temperature. Just because they have a layer of fur, doesn’t mean they’re protected from the cold.
Some breeds do cope better with the colder weather - but others who don’t have an undercoat really need that extra thermal layer.
Dog breeds that do have an undercoat include:
If your pooch doesn’t have a fur coat that’s like these breeds, there’s a good chance you’ll need to invest in a good-quality jacket, coat, jumper or fleece.
If you’re struggling to get your dog into a warm covering, then read our blog on dogs wearing clothes for some advice.
There are some breeds that really do need that extra TLC when it comes to keeping warm during walks. These are usually:
Of course, the breed list under each bullet point is much more extensive than this - so if you don’t know your dog’s coat type already, it’s worth doing some research to see how they typically react to the cold weather.
Age and health are also really important factors to consider. Puppies and golden oldies will feel the cold more, and those pooches who have certain health conditions may be more sensitive.
If you have a longer-haired pooch that’s prone to knots and tangles, we recommend regular grooming and brushing so the weather doesn’t cause problems.
We’re not suggesting you get their fur clipped short as that would be counterproductive, but keeping it neat and tidy means the weather won’t cause troublesome knots and mats.
If such problems occur it can be really uncomfortable for them, and in some cases detrimental to their health - and really long hair can take longer to dry meaning they’ll be wearing a damp coat, making them feel cold and shivery.
The same knotting and tangling mentioned above can happen around their paws during winter too, which can cause damage to their precious feet and pads.
Before you take them out for a walk, make sure their feet fur is kept short. There are other measures you can take too, to make sure their little pitter patter feet are winter ready:
Keep up those games of fetch during the winter months, and encourage your pup to keep active.
This will help keep their temperature higher to avoid feeling the cold, and is great for their body and mind too!
If you usually let your dog run free off lead, it’s probably not the best option when there’s snow or ice around.
A snow blanket may cover deep patches or holes that are unsafe, meaning if your pooch is running riot they could fall and hurt themselves.
The same goes for ice - they may see a frozen lake or pond and run across without understanding the dangers. Keep them on the lead at all times so you know they’re free from hazards while they’re by your side.
If you notice your pooch’s behaviour change during the cold weather or they seem hesitant to go out, you might need to look at making small changes to help them feel more at ease. And if you have any health concerns, then contact your vet ASAP.
Never miss a treat!
Subscribe to our newsletter and get blog articles amongst other treats delivered to your inbox
Don't leave without your free gift.Select Free Gift