Walking your dog is a great way to provide your furry friend with the exercise they need. However, it is so much more than that. You also get exercise when you walk your dog. It’s a great way to bond with your pet, teach him manners, and acclimate him to other dogs and people. Walking your dog when the weather is nice is easy for both you and your pup. However, when walking your dog during the winter there are some extra things to keep in mind for safety. The good news is, with the following winter dog walking tips Latchkey Pets has gathered, you can make walking your dog in the cold enjoyable and safe.
Why is winter dog walking important?
The cold weather can make it difficult to go outside, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy cold weather. Nevertheless, making sure your dog gets time outside to exercise is important for his health. It is also good for you, too. When a dog can go for a walk, it allows him to get out and about, exercising his body and his mind. Exercising may also stir things up and allow him to use the restroom properly. Plus, winter dog walking allows the two of you to see the sights and enjoy some time outside.
7 Top Winter Dog Walking Tips
Find A Place to Walk
It’s important at any time of the year, but especially in the winter, to find a good place to take your furry buddy for a walk. If you already have a place to go, be sure to ask yourself if it is conducive to the winter weather. If your normal go-to place becomes too wet or is slippery, you might want to look around for a new winter dog walking place. Skipping out on your daily walk because of wet or slippery conditions might make good sense to you, but your dog may not understand. For most dogs, there’s never a good enough excuse to miss going outside to play and get exercise. If you are having a hard time finding a place to walk your dog, don’t hesitate to take him to a local dog park or ask friends for a safe winter dog walking place.
Winter Dog Walking Essential Gear
It is important that your dog is warm enough when you are walking him in the winter. What type of gear he will need will depend on the type of dog he is and the area you live in. If your winters stay above freezing and your dog has a thick coat, you probably won’t need any additional gear. On the flip side, if your dog requires an added layer for protection, it is important to provide them something warm to wear. For instance, your dog may need a dog jacket and paw protectors to keep him warm and safe in the winter’s coldness.
It is also important for you to be safe when winter dog walking. Make sure you are comfortable, too, as this will make your time with your pet more enjoyable, and you may even be able to walk him for a longer amount of time. Depending on the weather, you may want to put on a warm coat, a hat, scarf, and gloves. Consider hand warmers, and be sure to put on as much as you need to stay warm.
Stay Safe When Winter Dog Walking
Once you and your dog are safely geared for a winter walk, it is important to stay safe. If you were able to find a place to walk that isn’t wet or slippery, you should do what you can to make sure you and your dog are visible to those who may be driving or riding bikes in the area. You can do this by using a collar or leash that is brightly colored, neon, or has reflectors on them. Also, consider adding reflectors to your shoes and clothing if it is past dusk outside. You might also want to make sure you are in the proper area to walk your dog. Some places have designated areas for walkers. To make sure you and your furry friend are as safe as possible, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and what the expectations are if you are in a dog park.
Depending on your dog and the laws, you want to make sure your dog is on a leash. In some places, this is law, so you want to ensure you are following proper procedures. Keep in mind, if there is no leash law in your area and your dog is properly trained, you may choose to walk him off-leash. Either way, it is important that you keep an eye on him, so you know where he is going if he leaves your side. A collar with your information on it is very helpful in the case that your pup wanders too far so if needed, you can be contacted.
You also want to make sure you bring your phone with you. Should anything happen on your walk, to you or your dog, it is important that you have a way to contact someone that can come and provide the assistance you need.
Winter Dog Walking Necessities
There are other things that you will want to bring along with you on your dog walk. If your dog uses the restroom along your journey, it is important that you clean up after him. To do this, be sure to bring potty bags with you. Also, you may want to bring treats with you if your dog is in the training stages and needs some extra persuasion to follow your commands. Depending on the length of your walk, you may want to bring water along. You can bring it for yourself and your dog in a water bottle or squirt bottle. Staying properly hydrated is important for you and your pet.
Plan for Your Walks
If you find it hard to squeeze in time to walk your dog, you may want to make a set time every day to take time for the walk. You can do this by setting an alarm on your phone or going at a certain time each day. This will ensure your dog gets outside and get the exercise he needs.
As you can see, winter dog walking is an important thing to do. You can have a safe walk by following the tips that have been shared here.
If your dog needs some extra exercise, a potty break or just some company during the daytime while you are at work or handling other obligations, consider hiring a professional dog walking company like Latchkey Pets. Latchkey Pets are bonded and insured through pet sitters international. They understand and support busy families like yours and love spending time with your pets! Call us today!