Colder temps may make us humans want to stay inside all bundled up, but they don’t always slow down our companion animals, many of whom like to walk, hike and explore outside–with or without their pet parents. If you’re planning to take your pup for a walk, let him play outside and more, follow these tips to keep him healthy and safe in cold winter months.
Tip #1: Scout out your route. Before you head out on a hike or walk, check out your route to be aware of possible winter hazards. Be aware of puddles, heavily salted as well as unplowed or unshoveled parts of the path to avoid, keeping you both from getting wet and overly cold. And watch for chemicals on the road, such as antifreeze, that can be poisonous if ingested by your pooch.
Tip #2: Accessorize for warmth. Our dogs’ coats do protect them from cold temps when we’re walking outside, but only to a degree. If their fur coats get wet, they can speed up the colder temps, too. Consider putting a sweater or coat on your pooch prior to him going outside to further insulate him from cold and keep him warm and healthy.
Tip #3: Protect their paws. Dogs’ paws can need extra protection in cold weather, especially if they will come into contact with the snow and salt on the roads. Booties for pups help protect their feet from damage that the cold can bring. But since not all dogs are used to wearing protective footwear, first try your pup out with a pair of baby socks on his feet as a test run before investing in booties.
Taking a few extra precautions will help you and your dog get the benefit of outdoor exercise as well as stay safe walking in the cold winter months.