Between the snow, the ice, and the cold weather, walking your dog in the winter months can be downright unbearable sometimes. Not only is your dog miserable, but you are miserable and freezing as well.
It’s tempting to just want to leave your dog inside and just forgo walks until the temps begin to climb again, but walks are a vital part of your dog’s daily routine. Routinely walking and exercising your dog is a good way to keep them both physically and mentally fit. Bonus points because it helps keep you fit as well!
Unless the temperatures are unbearable for both you and your dog, you should make every effort to keep up your routine as much as possible.
Here are some ways to make walking your dog more bearable this winter:
1. Protect your dog’s paws
Before you and your dog head out into the snowy outdoors, make sure to protect their paws from the ice and the salt. Slather their paws in a hefty amount of paw balm. There are plenty of different brands to chose from or you can opt to make some of your own. Check out this D.I.Y. paw balm from The Every Day Dog Mom or try out some from Pet Head, Musher’s Secret, or Paw Nectar.
In addition, be sure to wipe the salt and snow off of your dog’s paws when you get back home.
2. Use booties
Gearing up your dog with a quality pair of neoprene dog boots is another great way to protect their delicate paw pads from the damaging effects of the ice and snow. Check out these boots from Kong.
3. Keep your dog warm with a coat.
Some dogs love the frigid temperatures! They will run around and play in the snow for hours even as their disgruntled owners try to drag them back into the house. Other dogs tolerate the cold and some downright hate it.
The only way to get our dog Ivy to walk in the winter months is by suiting her up with a dog hoodie or with a winter coat made just for her. When purchasing a winter coat, make sure it’s waterproof. The best winter coats for dogs also cover their bellies. Check out this coat from Ruffwear.
4. Layer up
During the winter months, it’s also important that you gear up for walks as well. Always be sure to wear a pair of gloves or mittens and cover your head with a hat. Layer up with some thermals, a thick pair of sweatpants or jeans, and a heavy winter coat. Remember that it’s always better to wear more layers. You can always take some off if you get too warm.
5. Limit your walks.
While it’s important to make sure your dog is still getting exercise during the winter months, sometimes it will just be too cold for the both of you. Limit the duration of your walks if you need to or take several shorter walks instead of one big long one. This will ensure that both you and your dog are safe and comfortable.
Check out this awesome temperature guide for dogs from PetPlan if you are unsure if it is safe for walks or not!
What do you do to make winter walks more bearable for you and your dog? Leave a comment below!