Dogs need their daily walks otherwise they tend to become lazy and that has a detrimental effect on their health as well. Walks in the park can be extremely fun and playful however summers don’t always stay all year round. Walking your dog in the winters can be challenging so what should you do in winters to make the trips to the park still playful? Following are some tips that can make you spend some happy hours with your pet even in winters!
Keep your winter walks short & tight
winters can get to anyone. So when you go out be sure to be your emotional support animal and not force too much exercise on him. Walking your dog in winters for a long time can cause more harm. You have to try to understand the signals your dog is sending you in the case the cold becomes too much for him to handle. If he starts whining or slows down, it’s a sign that it’s time for you to take him home as soon as you can.
Also, dogs are highly emotional creatures. If they’re sending you signals and you are trying to ignore them that will create a feeling that they are not cared for. So be a source of comfort and emotional support for them. Try to put them in a dog sweater when you go out which will keep them warm and allow them to jump and play at the same time. Try to keep it dry by avoiding any areas where there is water.
Keep a sharp eye on them
if you are in an area where it snows a lot; do not let them eat the snow. This will give birth to bacteria and cause contamination of the intestines. If this happens, it can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. This is a situation which nobody wants to experience as such a bad condition can disrupt the whole routine of the pet and is extremely dangerous to their health. Especially dogs that are not of the breed to tolerate the cold, it can be extremely hazardous to their health. One way to prevent this is to make your dog already feel full. Make him load on lots of water so he doesn’t feel the need to slurp on anything else. However, if they do eat a little do not panic as that much won’t cause a lot of harm as compared to a large amount that can be dangerous.
Take care of their hygiene
Do you know what enhances the bond between you and your pet? It’s the feeling of love and emotional support that you give to them. Dogs cannot express it by words but you will notice a huge difference in their behavior when you take care of them like this. In order to keep the cold from getting into their body, try to wipe their paws thoroughly when you come back with warm water. This will prevent you from getting sick by licking their paws. Try to use a friendly pet moisturizer to moisturize your dog’s paws otherwise they will crack making it more painful for them to walk in the blazing wind.
Plan for your Pet
Try to stick to the sidewalk as dogs without fur will chill so much faster but the furry coat on other dogs is still not enough to keep them out for longer periods of time. Try to keep a calendar for your pet. Because the weather is so cold, keep an eye on what temperature will be on a particular day in order to be prepared with all the sweaters and harnesses. Always try to use reflective clothing that reflects light to oncoming vehicles so they can see you and your dog earlier so it gives them the time to stop. All in all, try to avoid this situation by taking your dog to walk in the daytime.
Though walks in winter can be slightly challenging, you can also use this as an opportunity to bond with your dog by providing them emotional support. You can do this by using pet safe traction. This will come in handy if you live in an area that has a lot of ice. Tractions include ice melts which aren’t always chemical free. So try to do your research and look up a brand that is natural and works best for your pet’s health and also keep the sidewalks and lawns safe.
Arthritis happens in dogs as well
Along with humans, dogs can also suffer from arthritis caused by cold weather. This can happen if your dog is a little old as well. For this purpose, you should go to walks on alternate days and also keep the time span shorter than usual. If you see your dog stiffen up, you can use arthritis supplements as well as natural dog health supplements. You can also alleviate this condition a little using alternative exercise for your dog. This will make them feel better if they are suffering from pain and be a source of emotional support and comfort.
Absolutely avoid metal & adjust their food
Keep your dogs away from metal objects because licking them will pose the same threat to their tongue as there is to yours. Also if you reside in an area that has higher chances of a blizzard, then you obviously should know that metal posts, manholes, metal lamps should also be avoided as they increase the risk of an electric shock.
In winter, your dogs need more energy hence you have to adjust their diets to greater portions. But stride away from any extra calories if you and your dog are spending more time indoors because then that is going to make him put on extra weight which can be hazardous to his health. Keep on monitoring your dog’s weight and adjust his feeding or diet plan accordingly to maintain the proper weight balance.
Without a doubt, taking dogs for a walk in the winters is highly challenging and a tedious task too. But just like exercise is a man’s need, dogs need to be outdoors to engage in playful and energetic activities. Otherwise, they can become lazy because of the harsh weather along with no exercise and can become used to that routine. But this is a red alert for any pet owner or caretaker because dogs that become used to this routine can easily become more susceptible to various conditions such as rashes, dog sickness, a loss of appetite, lower energy levels and weight gain. Hence you will have to make sure that they get their normal dose of exercise and walk during the winters as well. In fact, your dog loves you so much, understanding the gesture that you will have taking him out in the freezing cold, being such an emotional support to him will make things perfect. Other than that the basic tips provided to you above will help you keep a good eye on everything!
About the author: Emma Alex is the resident pet care expert. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products. She enjoys writing educational articles to help those who want to look after their pets all over the place.