Tips for walking your dog during the cold winter months
As soon as daylight saving starts you can feel that chill in the air, especially at nights when it gets darker a lot earlier and then in the mornings when it's a struggle to get out of bed to take your pups for their daily walks. Speaking from our experiences, your pups most likely are feeling this way too - and all they want to do is join you on the couch tucked up under a blanket keeping warm from the unpredictable weather outside (well unless you have a dog made for the snow… then they’ll have no problems jumping out of bed and taking you with them) So the team here at Healthy Dog and CO have put together some handy tips to make exercising your pup in winter more bearable.
Tip 1: Warm Weather Gear
For dogs with short coats, the cold and rain may not be as fun for them as dogs with double coats - so making sure they have warm weather gear to wear on their walks definitely makes it a better experience for them and now with all those great companies out there making stylish dog apparel you and your pup will be battling the rain in style!
Rain Jackets - Checkout Happy Scrappies range of rain coats on our website ! The team have gone above and beyond with making their apparel sustainable and also making sure your pups stay dry while looking great!
Coats and Sweaters - for dogs that really feel the cold, paring a rainjacket/coat with a warm sweater underneath will help with temperature regulation and also make their time outside more enjoyable - Check out Mr Soft Tops range of colourful, warm merino jumpers and warm coats to help fight the cold breeze.
Boots - now boots are more for when you’re planning long walks in the cold or for places where it's snows! These will protect your pups paws from the icy cold which can dry their paws out and make them colder faster (as a main source of heat actually comes from your dogs paws!) as well keeping them safe from anything that could be underneath the snow that you can’t easily see (boots are also handy year round if your dog injures their feet, they give that extra protection for going out and about while the paw is healing)
Tip 2: LED Lights
With it getting darker earlier and a lot of dog parents not getting home until after dark, having a way for you both to stay safe and also to be able see your dog at all times especially in high traffic and darker rural areas makes night time walks a lot easier. This is where a light reflector comes in - there are so many different types of lights you can choose for your pup from items that you could find around the house to purchasing a light up collar or LED light to attach to their collar/harness
Reflective Dog Leashes - as well as your dog staying visible in the dark, you also want to make sure their leash is lit up too - we recommend doing this if you run with your dog, use a longer leash at the park or even around busy areas!
Light up Collars - Now how cool are these?! There are so many different types to choose from and so many different colours! What also makes it easier is most of these are battery rechargeable - so they’ll be nice and lightweight and not bulky with having that added battery attached to it. (always make sure when you’re looking at collars you have the correct fit and it fits nicely on your dog and not too tight or loose)
LED lights - So many great brands are bringing out all these awesome lights that can attach to your dogs collar or harness - this is a great option for seeing what is ahead of your pup and to help with that visibility. You could also re use bike keychain lights if you have them at home!
Safety Vest - so many companies have brought out some great dog wear that can keep your dog warm and also have that reflective material to make sure theyre seen at the same time! Win Win right! (please note with this that reflective material will only shine when lit up by light)
DIY Tips and Tricks: Do you love a bit of DIY? Well you can go ahead and make your pup a reflective bandana to wear - all you need is some reflective material and away you go!
Tip 3: Paw Balm
Dogs paws are super important to them in every day life, they help protect the joints and bones in the feet and also help with grip and stability on slippery surfaces. In the winter months their feet can dry out a lot quicker with walking on cold and hard ground, so making sure you have some paw balm on hand for a little pamper session after your evening walk is the best way to keep your pups paws hydrated, protected and moisturised.
Tip 4: Keeping them dry
Making sure your pup is fully dried off after a rainy walk is super important. Leaving them wet to air dry especially in the cold could lead to hot spots, infections and even matting of the fur if they have a long or double coat. Also dont forget to make sure you double check that these areas of the dog are completely dry before letting them do anything else to help prevent skin problems - Stomach, Inner Legs/armpits, In between their paws, Tail and rear end.