Owning a dog is a 365 day a year commitment. That means venturing out in all weathers to provide them with the exercise that they need.
Walking your dog in the colder months can be fun and the brisk fresh air will do you both the world of good but you need to consider the conditions and ensure that you’ve made the necessary preparations before heading out.
Walking in the dark
Winter walks can often mean dark walks. The mornings stay darker for longer and the evenings draw in much earlier. Try to stick to well lit areas where visibility is best. It is a wise idea to take a small torch in case of emergencies and to wear something reflective. Also consider a reflective harness or collar to ensure that your dog is highly visible too.
Walking in the wet
Ensure you have adequate waterproof footwear. A dog walk will not be much fun if your feet get wet early on. Waterproof trousers are also a must for long grass situations. If your dog is not particularly keen on the rain or cold, then invest in a warm dog coat.
Walking in icy conditions
Care should be taken if the ground is icy. Your dog will have a better grip than you due to their claws, but they are still susceptible to slip and risk injury. If there has been a deep freeze, then keep your dog on a lead to ensure they stay away from lakes and ponds that might have frozen over. A weak patch in the ice can lead to disaster.
Once you’ve enjoyed your winter walk and you are both back in the warm, take a few moments to dry your dog off and inspect their pads for any compacted mud that might have become stuck in between. Also check for salt and grit that may cause irritations.
Once you are both all dried off, it’s time to curl up by the fire and enjoy the well earned warmth!
Walkiees.co.uk have over 240 walks listed in over 60 counties. Every walk includes at least one photograph of the area. Membership is free and Walkiees will donate £2 to a dog charity for every dog walk you add to the site.