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Walking Your Dog in Winter

Like it or not, winter is almost here. As the weather gets colder, we’ll start spending more time indoors. Your canine buddy may spend a chunk of winter inside, but he’ll still need to be walked every day. Read on as a London, ON vet offers tips on walking Fido in winter.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents are all rough on Fido’s furry feet. We recommend getting pet-safe de-icing products. Paw balm or wax will help moisturize and protect your dog’s paws. Coconut oil also works. You can also try putting booties on your pooch, though not all dogs will go for this. Keeping your pup’s nails clipped is important as well. Your four-legged friend will have a hard time getting traction if his claws are too long! Last but not least, clip your dog’s toe hair: those cute tufts can collect ice balls, which are quite uncomfortable.

Gear

If your canine pal has thin fur, he may be more comfortable with a doggy jacket. Make sure that Fido’s clothes fit well, and don’t restrict his vision or movement. Keep in mind that a damp sweater will actually make your pet colder. Get a few different ones, so you always have a dry one ready to go. You’ll also want to choose the right gear for yourself. Wear boots or shoes with a good tread, so you don’t slip.

Routes

Keep a close eye on the ground as you are walking your pooch, especially after it’s snowed. Fresh snow can hide dangerous objects, such as broken glass. Also, stay away from frozen bodies of water. Dogs don’t really understand ice, and can get into serious trouble if they walk over thin spots.

Night Walks

The sun goes down early at this time of year, so you’ll probably be walking your pooch after dark quite a bit. Take a phone and flashlight with you, stick to well-lit, safe paths, and don’t stay out too long. It’s also a good idea to get a reflective leash for Fido, as well as a warm, bright jacket for yourself.

Limit Time

When it’s really cold out, keep your furry friend’s walks short and sweet. You can keep Fido active by playing with him inside.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Please contact us, your local London, ON vet clinic, anytime.

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