Surviving Winter Walks With Your Furry Friend
Winter Walks Are They Safe For Dogs
During winter, surviving winter walks is an important question for any dog owner. One has to be prepared with survival techniques for your family and your pets.
In additional you need to have in handy proper clothing to keep you warm with your pets. Furthermore, dogs can have coats and boots when temperatures are so low.
Good preparation will make you and your dog avoid frostbite and hypothermia which are real dangers at cold seasons. Winter is not a time to close yourself indoors. There is much excitement outside and fun when well prepared.
Unless it is dangerously cold, your dog needs a breath of fresh air and nature walk. Even so, once it gets to freezing you shouldn’t take your dog or other pets outside. This is the time when temperatures are at their lowest with rains and storms, sometimes even wind chills which are dangerous for pets too.
Even the toughest dog breeds sometimes can have a challenge of self-regulating their temperature when the elements of the weather are freezing. Their inability to cope with cold due to less body fat which can be due to different factors can lead to shivering. In addition, if your dog loses heat fast it can lead to hypothermia. This can be possible when a dog is overly exposed to extreme cold weather.
Symptoms of Hypothermia
- Difficult breath.
- Weak heartrate.
- Skins turn pale or blue in colour.
- Coat and skin cold to touch.
- Exhibit low energy.
No worries if your dog has been exposed keep them warm. Along with these wrap her with a blanket, dress her in a coat, cover her with warm water bottles, give warm fluids, etc.
Tips on How Your Dog Will Survive Winter Walks
Canine respond well to season adjustment be it winter or summer. Only you need to know how to handle the adjustment in grooming, nutrition, and exercise to be able to keep her/him healthy and happy. Be keen especially on their resting places is it indoor or outdoor. If the kennel is outdoor ensure the floor is elevated to avoid him sleeping on the cold floor. Additionally, place a mat or blanket to keep him warm and dress him in a coat.
Moreover, take care of her paws and coat to keep her warm. We have warm coats and boots that you can buy to fit this need. This clothing will prevent freezing when indoor as well as outdoor.
Dress Dog in coat/jacket
Get your dog a coat or jacket to keep warm. This will protect your dog’s body heat and prevent her from shivering and other dangers like frostbite and hypothermia.
Importantly, if you have a short hair breed dress your dog in a sweater when going outside to retain their body heat and avoid shivering.
Moreover, a sweater is easy to make you can knit or buy from a pet store.
Dress Dog in Boots
Might sound a bit comical but when temperatures deep to 0degree or negative you won’t be happy with your dog shivering which can be fatal.
Exposed skin accelerates heat loss, especially through the wind. Dog’s paws freeze after walking in ice-cold. Not only is it safe and keeps her paws warm but also prevents her from slipping and falling.
Slipping in hard ice can lead to injuries and fractures. Your dog might need to wear them often to get used, at first they might feel funny and uncomfortable as the dog is used to walking on its paws.
Dog boots are not an item we consider most of the time as most dog breeds are used to cold. Although when temperature deep to freezing point it will be good to buy a pair for your dog paws. Their paws can sometimes be sensitive to cold.
To get the right size measure your dog first before buying. Get a boot that fit but still leave room for breathing since they regulate heat through the pads of their feet.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
You need those water bottles now. Despite being cold this is the time most people do not drink water but ensure to give your dog water for hydration. Even so, you can warm the water a little to help keep her warm.
Do Walks in Warm Temperatures
It doesn’t mean during winter you cannot walk your dog. Moreover, they are cloth gears best for dogs during winter from scarfs, jackets, boots, and coats.
Take a stroll with your dog in the park during the early morning and evening when the temperatures are a bit warmer.
Regardless, if your dog is sensitive to cold temps, make the walks relatively short.
Winter shouldn’t be dull, make the most out of the warmer part of the day.
Despite this when winter makes it unbearable outside indoor training and exercise can be done by letting your dog run up and down the stairs.
Feed Food High in Calories
Ensure before taking your dog out for a walk she has had her food full of calories. During winter a lot of effort is used by your dog’s body to generate heat and hence need plenty of calories in their food. You can carry some treats on your daily walks during winter that are rich in calories. Moreover, they are small and portable hence won’t be a struggle to hold your dog’s harness and carry a packet of treats.
Working dogs and breeds that love outdoor activities despite the weather will need more calories to stay warm. During winter your dog uses more energy to regulate her temperatures hence needs more calories in her diet.
Although, this should not an avenue for your dog to be obese if care is not taken overfeeding might occur as the serving sizes increase. Check on the portion and regulate if you notice increase in weight.
Avoid Dangerous Areas
Frozen ice and slippery ice are a danger on your daily walk it is good to avoid them.
Most water sources like ponds, swamps, streams can be frozen and if you are heavy in weight can break and lead to drowning or hypothermia.
During your walks stay clear of frozen areas for you and your dog safe.
Wear Illuminating Leash and Clothing
Wintertime tends to get dark early and if walking your dog late you need to be safe.
Additionally, wear reflective clothing and your dog a led leash or flashing collar to be visible even in dim light or visibility.
These will make you and your dog visible to car drivers, cyclists, other people, and even your dog if without a leash.
Subsequently, limit your outdoor time to a short walk, although the walks are a good exercise to burn calories and keep your dog healthy.
Keep a dry towel by the door to immediately dry your dog when you get home from your walks. The fur and paws could have collected snow making her wet and damp, dry her up completely to keep her warm.
Also, this will keep the house floor dry always.
Remember if you do not dry her paws it can lead to cracks in her paws which are painful.
Winter is enjoyable if you prepare and do it well. Most dogs are naturally equipped to handle winter conditions. Find ways of making it work for you by following some of the tips above.
Firstly ensure your dog has proper clothing, warm and waterproof, you can add boots when a need is, give enough water for hydration. Cold weather can make her sweat hence need to be hydrated.
This is the time your dog will find warmth in her blanket, snuggling in her bed most of the time. Get a good waterproof bed for napping after an exciting walk outside in cold temperatures which can make her cold and muddy.