Despite the dangers winter can sometimes present, winter walks with your dog can be safe and enjoyable providing you take the necessary precautions.
Take a look at our nine top tips to keep both you and your dog safe while walking during the winter months.
Consider a coat for dog
During the winter months, it’s important to keep your dog warm. Let your dog’s coat grow and for short-haired breeds, senior dogs and puppies, it may be worth investing in a winter dog coat.
Walking your dog during the cold, dark mornings and nights can present its challenges; poor visibility being one of them. If you’re walking when it’s dark, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog is visible either with a flashing collar light or a high-vis jacket.
It’s important you’re also dressed for winter. Think about your own footwear when you’re venturing out with your dog and make sure you’re just as visible as your dog.
Beware of deep snow
The British weather is often unpredictable. Keep your dog on a lead if it’s snowing. There could be some deep pockets of snow or snow which maybe covering up some unsafe areas.
ID tag and microchipped
It’s important to ensure that your dog is wearing a collar, ID tag and is microchipped. It’s also vital to ensure your microchipping database is up to date with your address and contact details.
Returning from a walk
When you and your dog return from a winter walk, remember to wipe your dogs’ legs, feet and stomach. The grit from roads and dampness from rain or snow can irritate their skin.
Don’t leave your dog in a car
Leaving dogs in cars is dangerous all year round, even in winter. You should never leave your dog unattended in a car.
Don’t let your dog walk across frozen ponds. The ice may not be thick enough to take the weight of your dog.
Anti-freeze is poisonous
Even the smallest amounts of anti-freeze can have a very harmful and it can often have a fatal effect on your pet. Keep anti-freeze well out of pets’ reach and clean up any spillages right away.
Check leads, collars and harnesses
It’s a good idea to check items such as leads, collars and harnesses are all in working order. They can often get damaged by the winter weather e.g. wet weather may make metal clips rust.
If you’re having difficulty choosing the correct sized harness or coat for your dog, please visit our pet care retrial store at Pride Veterinary Centre where our friendly retail team will be able to provide advice.