Walking Your Dog in Winter

Walking Your Dog in Winter

Did you know that dogs benefit us in many ways? For one thing, people with dogs often get more activity than those who don’t have pooches. This is of course in part because of all those walks. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when taking your pet out at this time of year. In this article from River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, a local vet offers some tips for walking your canine buddy in the cold.

Paws For Thought

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all hurt Fido’s sensitive paw pads. Use paw balm or wax to protect your dog’s feet from burns and abrasions. Keeping your canine pal’s claws trimmed will help him get better traction. You may want to wipe your pup’s paws off with a damp cloth before you bring him inside, to remove residue. Also, be sure to choose only pet-safe de-icing agents. Finally, make sure to wear boots or shoes with good traction yourself, too. You don’t want to slip on the ice!

Watch The Ground

Always keep an eye on the ground, and be careful where you walk Fido. This is especially important after a snowfall, as the snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass, that could injure your furry best friend.

Choose A Safe Route

Never take your pooch out onto frozen bodies of water. Even if one portion of a lake is frozen solid, Fido may venture out into a less-stable area. Riverbanks are also dangerous.

Dress For Warmth

Dedicate a specific jacket—preferably a really warm one—for walking your furry friend. Keep the pockets filled with treats, waste baggies, gloves, a flashlight, spare keys, and anything else you may need. If your canine companion has thin fur, he may need a doggy jacket to keep him warm on frigid days.

Nighttime Safety

It gets dark pretty early in winter, so you and Fido may be out at night quite a bit. Use reflective gear on your pup, and wear a reflective coat yourself. We also recommend keeping night-time walks short and sweet. Stick to safe, well-lit areas, and always take a flashlight and cell phone with you. Better safe than sorry!

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Fox Chapel, PA vet clinic, today!

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