How to Keep Your Pet Warm on Winter Walks
January is National Walk Your Pet Month! Yet, in the northern hemisphere, it’s one of the coldest months and the time when you would prefer not to play outside. Despite the blustery weather, dogs still need to go outside for bathroom breaks and exercise. Consider the following tips to keep your dog warm and safe on winter walks.
6 Tips for Warm Winter Walks with Your Dog
1. Shorter, More Frequent Walks
If your dog is sensitive to the cold, consider going for shorter walks more frequently throughout the day. They’ll still get the same amount of exercise, but you and your dog will be able to warm up inside in between.
2. Add a Sweater
If your dog has short fur or is sensitive to the cold, they can wear a sweater or winter jacket that will insulate them against the cold. Just make sure the apparel is dry before going outdoors and never leave a pet unattended while wearing a piece of clothing.
3. Consider Your Dog's Breed
Some breeds are better suited to cold weather than others. For example, Siberian huskies and Alaska malamutes can tolerate cold better than chihuahuas or Dobermans.
4. Stay Dry
Even in relatively warm winter weather, a wet dog can get cold. During the winter, it’s best to keep your pet from getting wet on walks and playtime outdoors. During the winter, bathe your pets indoors only and make sure their fur is completely dry before heading out to play.
5. Wash Paws
If you and your dog visit any areas with freezing weather, be mindful of antifreeze, ice melt, and sidewalk salt. When pets go for walks, these substances can get stuck to their paws. Then, dogs might lick them off. These contain toxins that can be irritating to paws and very harmful if ingested. Be sure to wash and dry your pet’s paws first thing after you come inside from a frosty winter walk.
6. Too Cold for You Is Too Cold for Your Pet
The idea that cats or dogs have more resistance to the cold than people just because they wear natural fur coats is not accurate. If it’s too cold outside for you, then it’s too cold for your pet. Try to minimize time outside in extreme weather and find ways to stay active indoors.
Schedule a Winter Checkup at Pacific Pet Hospital
Whether or not you plan to visit any snowy states with your pet this winter, it’s important to keep regular wellness in check. Schedule your pet’s annual preventative care appointment to ensure all of their vaccines are current and they’re well-prepared for the beginning of parasite season which will be here before we know it.