Winter walks in the snow can be fun for all the family, especially for your dog! Some dogs love snow because it’s different and they can run around in it and plough through it. It’s great to let them lose some of that energy but it’s also important to remember to stay safe when walking in the snow and ice. At PetStay, we’ve come up with this helpful guide to help you and your pet enjoy your winter walks, whatever the weather!
The first thing to remember is to keep you and your four-legged friend warm! Remember to wear lots of layers and consider putting a snug pet coat on your dog. This can help them stay warm and stop them from getting too wet on their walk. Don’t forget your gloves! Holding onto a lead with bare hands can cause problems and stiffness, meaning you could drop the lead. Not to mention how uncomfortable very cold hands can be!
Keep clean and dry towels by the door
Even when it’s sunny outside your dog can get a bit damp on their morning walk. Leave them by the door (and on a radiator if possible) and dry your dog’s paws and tummy when you get back. Towels can also help you clear off any salt and grit, and make sure snow hasn’t formed clumps on their fur.
Watch out for salt and grit on pathways and roads
While grit can help make paths less slippy, it can be dangerous for your dog especially if ingested. After a walk, rinse your dog’s feet with warm water and check that nothing is stuck between their toes. Salt can burn your dog’s paw so it is important to wipe your pet’s paws after they’ve been for a walk.
When clearing your own paths, look for pet-safe products to use from your local garden centre or pet shop.
Don’t let your dog eat snow
Even though people say “never eat yellow snow” it’s advised that your dog doesn’t eat ANY snow. After all, you never know what could be in it! Snow and ice can harbour bacteria and hide nasty things that could cause sickness in your dog. The sudden cold can also cause a stomach upset.
Keep your dog hydrated
Even on cold days, your dog can get dehydrated quickly as they will still sweat underneath their winter coats. Make sure you bring a bottle of water and a portable bowl with you on long walks and have fresh water at home.
Pick up after your dog
You will still need to pick up your dog’s poo in the snow. As the snow melts, the mess you left behind just spreads out making it more of a hard than before. Keep extra poo bags in your walking jacket just in case.
If the weather is too bad, don’t go out!
With weather warnings in effect over the weekend it is important to check the weather before you go out. While walking through a field you could get stuck in the middle of a blizzard (yes, even in the UK) which wouldn’t be nice for you or your dog. If the weather looks bad or begins to turn it’s best to head home to keep you and your pet safe!