Five cold weather walking tips for your dog
October 7, 2021
As the leaves fall from the trees and you dig out your big coat, scarf and gloves, it’s important to spare a thought for your dog’s welfare during the colder months. Some breeds (and ages) of dog find low temperatures tougher than others, but any dog can struggle in freezing and snowy conditions, so it’s good to be prepared.
If you have specific concerns about how your dog is coping with the cold, please remember you can always ask the team at our Staines-upon-Thames vet practice for advice. In the meantime, remember it can be a good idea to take the colder days & nights as a reminder to book a pre-winter health check, to make sure any niggles or conditions are picked up at an early stage.
Advice for cold dog walks
Here’s a reminder of what to consider when you walk your dog on colder days…
- Visibility – As the nights get darker earlier, does your dog’s collar need a light or reflective material?
- Recall – If your dog is unreliable at returning to you on walks, consider keeping them on the lead to avoid them getting lost in fog or snow. And, of course, check their microchip details are up to date.
- Water safety – Keep well away from stretches of frozen water, in case your dog runs onto a fragile surface.
After a wet, chilly walk, make sure that your dog is:
- Warm and dry – Use a towel to soak water out of your dog’s coat and make sure they have a warm, dry bed to snuggle up in, away from cold draughts.
- Free of snow or grit in their paws – Residual snow can get stuck between your dog’s toes and cause painful problems. There may also be salt or grit on the roads which can irritate their skin, so check and clean if necessary.
- EVEN in autumn & winter, NEVER leave your dog in your car – Just like in summer, extreme temperatures can develop quickly and your dog could get dangerously cold, or overheat if the sun is beating down on your car. In an emergency, call us without delay on 01753 316081.
- Adjust food and indoor activity – If you’re going on fewer or shorter walks due to the weather, keep your dog active indoors and adjust their food to avoid weight gain.