Fall may be one of the most popular seasons, but it is certainly not the longest. Now that the leaves are in full color-changing swing and the chill is permanently settling in, it won’t be long until the first signs of winter make their debut.
As the weather gets colder and the snow gets closer to making its first appearance, now is the time to start preparing your dog for winter. Because year-round exercise is crucial for your pup, that means getting ready for those frigid, snowy walks. Check out the winter dog walking tips we’ve gathered below to help you prep for a safe and healthy season!
1) Bundle them up if you have to.
Dogs who are smaller, low in body fat, or have shorter coats may need extra protection from the dropping temperatures. Even if your dog has thick fur, having a sweater or jacket on hand for those really cold afternoons is still a good idea. Plus, a waterproof jacket will help keep them dry on snowy walks.
2) Use a leash that gives you good control.
If you normally use a retractable leash when walking your dog, swap it out for a rope leash (ideally with a front-clip harness). There are a lot of hazards you can encounter on a winter walk that could put your pup in danger—icy surfaces, dirty snow piles, road salt on the sidewalk. It’s important that you keep a tight leash, so they don’t run ahead of you into something risky you didn’t see.
3) Protect their paws.
Cold and dry winter air can irritate, crack, and split your dog’s paws. Prevent them from drying out by using a dog-safe moisturizer or protective paw wax. If your dog will tolerate them, get them booties to wear on winter walks. You should also wipe your dog’s paws after a walk to remove any salt, antifreeze or other deicing chemicals that could have stuck. These substances can be toxic if your dog licks them off their paws.
4) Keep your walks short.
Limit time outdoors with your dog in the winter to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Watch your dogs for signs of discomfort, such as shivering, slowing or stopping, whining, and anxiety behaviors. If your dog exhibits any symptoms of distress, turn around and take them home.
The Pointing Labrador Retriever puppies we breed at Lankas Labs are well-equipped to handle the cold. They would also make the perfect holiday gift for you and your family to love and play with this season.
Stay up to date on our upcoming litters and bring home a new puppy just in time for the holidays!