In bitter frosts, few people want to show their nose to the street. But active dogs cannot live without a walk. Outside the house, four-legged companions not only relieve their natural needs, but also warm up, spend the accumulated energy.
The question inevitably arises, and even several: how and how much to walk with the dog in winter? How to make sure that she is not cold? What rules of winter walks should you follow? Everything in order.
Recommendations on how to walk your dog outdoors in winter
The coat and undercoat of most dogs protect them at temperatures down to about -10 degrees. If it is -20 and below on the street, then the four-legged will need the help of the owner. And some fragile dogs need to be insulated even at a small above-zero temperature.
To make both you and your wet-nosed pet comfortable, it is worth considering certain nuances and taking care of several things in advance.
- Consider the breed, age, mood and well-being of the dog.
Can I walk my dog in winter? How long does it take to walk?
When it comes to walking in the cold, you should show sensitivity and soberly evaluate your pet in all respects. For example, a large and active dog with thick coat is able to spend much more time in the cold than an average short-haired dog or a delicate “decorator”.
In severe frosts, it is better to stay at home with small dogs – let them make puddles and heaps for a diaper for a day or two. The big dog should be taken outside in any weather, for the sake of a toilet and a short walk: 15-20 minutes near the house is enough. In some cases (if a pet with special needs, for example), you can limit yourself to one toilet.
The same applies to puppies and old dogs – you need to be very careful with them.
- Take care of your paws
Paw care during the winter is especially important. Be sure to cut your pet’s nails and remove the hair between the fingers so that snow does not stick to it. The pads must be treated with paw wax or special cream so that they do not crack from reagents, cold and mechanical damage.
Better yet, buy shoes for your pet. And in the slush, and in the cold, such an accessory will be just the way for any breed.
It happens that the dog categorically does not perceive the shoes and flatly refuses to wear them. Then special wax will help you out, which is applied to the paw pads and creates a protective film.
Wash your paws after every walk, not only for the sake of cleanliness in the house, but also for the health of the dog (if he walks without shoes). Otherwise, the dog may get poisoned with road reagent while licking its paws. After washing, be sure to dry the paws, paying particular attention to the areas between the toes, and apply a protective cream to the pads.
If left untreated, the pads will begin to crack and painful with every step. In addition, dirt and chemicals can enter the cracks, leading to inflammation.
- Choose the right clothes
How to insulate a dog in winter? Of course, with the help of special clothing! We have already said above that it is easier for long-haired dogs to tolerate cold than their short-haired brethren. if you are forced to spend several hours on the street, then even a big man will still need warm waterproof clothing so as not to freeze at all.
Owners of small breeds and short-haired dogs should take care of warm clothing. Boots, sweater, hat, overalls – that’s the whole set for the “frosty girls”.
Do not forget to take Yorkies, Chihuahuas, lapdogs, Pekingese, toy poodles and other similar doggies in your arms from time to time so that they warm up a little and do not chill the genital area. Due to the close location of this part of the body to the cold ground, short-legged dogs can develop cystitis.
- Don’t forget to be active
Let the dog run into the cold as it should, it will warm it. Perfectly warms up the aport. To do this, throw a plate, ring, ball or ordinary stick away so that the wet-nose has to run far. it is better not to throw it into deep snowdrifts, otherwise the doggie will freeze ahead of time.
Don’t forget to go jogging with your pet. So you will reinforce his enthusiasm, and you will warm yourself.
If the weather is not conducive to walking outside, then play with your pet at home, offer him several toys, follow several commands.
- Avoid dangerous places
In winter, ice awaits both people and dogs. Make sure that the dog does not run on ice, because it threatens dislocations, sprains and even fractures.
Also, go around the construction site a kilometer, because there can be nails, glass, boards under the snow.
- Feed your dog before walking
The dog’s winter diet should be slightly different than the summer’s: it needs to be made more nutritious and satisfying. Having eaten tightly, the dog will definitely want to spend the accumulated energy on the street.
- Don’t let the dog eat snow
It may seem to you that there is nothing wrong with this – as if this is how the dog replenishes its moisture reserves. But for these cases, responsible owners carry a bottle of warm water with them and offer it to the dog. The dog needs water in winter as well as in summer. To keep the water warm outside, you can pour it into a thermos or wrap the bottle in a towel and put it in a bag.
But snow can cause not only hypothermia, but also poisoning, because it can contain chemicals and emissions from machinery. Even if you are walking in an ecologically clean area, snow is a poor alternative to water.
If the dog still strives to pile up a snowdrift, wear a muzzle.
- Walk with a leash
In winter, the dog needs to be especially controlled. She can run and slip. And with a leash, the dog won’t have much freedom. But what if the pet gets into the head to rush into a melted body of water for a stick? The leash will stop him from such an extreme idea.
- Follow the weather forecast
The weather forecast makes it easy to tell when is the best time to take your pet for a walk. Choose the warmest time of day. As a rule, this is from noon to noon. However, if you have a special regimen, then follow it taking into account the recommendations.
- Watch the dog
Did the dog start to clench its paws, tremble and look at you plaintively? Go home immediately. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since going out. In extreme cold, it is enough for dogs to leave the house only to cope with physiological needs.
A few more quick tips
- Be sure to bring some treats with you for a walk so that the doggie will refresh itself a little;
- Ears, paws and tail are the most vulnerable areas in dogs, so be careful not to freeze them: feel them every 5-10 minutes. If they are cold, it’s time to go home.
- At the first sign of frostbite, take your pet home and wrap it up with a blanket;
- How to understand that a dog has frostbite: it breathes slowly, trembles, does not respond to external stimuli, the frostbite part of the body is cold and hard to the touch, and when heat returns to it, it can become painful;
- In no case, do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or simply with your hands, it will only get worse. It is important to keep your pet warm and calm and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Call a specialist at home, because going outside and driving will be another stress for the dog. Over the phone, the clinic staff will recommend first aid options for your dog before the veterinarian arrives.
The mood, well-being and behavior of a four-legged friend is the best indicator you should rely on first. Want to go jogging in the park at -15 and ready for any adventure? Yes Easy! Shakes like a leaf in the wind and does not know where the day is at +2 degrees? March home and under the blanket.