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As the temperatures cool down, and the days get shorter thanks to the end of daylight saving time, you might find yourself dragging your feet when it comes time to take the dog out. If you struggle to walk your dog in the colder months, here are some of the best tips that should help to make it easier!
- Temperature-resistant items. One of the best things you can do for yourself when walking your dog out in the colder temperatures is to invest in temperature-resistant items. Whether you choose a silicone dog collar and leash set or you start putting shoes on your dogs’ paws to wear while out on the cold concrete is entirely up to you, but temperature-resistant items will go a long way in making it easier for you and your dog to enjoy a walk out in the cold.
- Adjust your walk times. Adjusting your walk times can make it easier on you and your dog. Check with your place of employment if you can come in a bit earlier so you can leave a bit earlier in the day and be home before it gets dark. This way, you’ll still have some sunlight out to give some extra warmth while you walk your dog. You should also shorten the length of time you walk outside. While it’s important that you get your dog as much exercise as they need, when it’s freezing or below outside, sometimes you just need to spend enough time out there for your dog to do their business and go back inside. The time of day you go out and the length of time you spend outside will have a major impact on how much you enjoy walking outside with your dog in the cold.
- Get a good pair of gloves. A good pair of gloves will help to keep your hands warm during walks. You’ll also want gloves that have good grip so you can focus on holding onto your dog’s leash instead of it slipping through your hands. Many gloves feature technology that allows you to use your phone while wearing them so that the material doesn’t interfere with the touchscreen. A good pair of gloves will keep your fingers warm and make your outside walks with your dog in the winter more enjoyable.
- Wear lots of layers. Layers will really go a long way in ensuring you have a more enjoyable experience while walking your dog in the cold. Layers help us to feel insulated. If you feel too warm while walking, you can easily remove a layer. This is essential for people who live in climates that are drastically cold before the sun comes up, but which warm up immensely when the sun rises. If this sounds like your climate, then it’s a good idea to wear layers while walking your dog. Place your socks over your pants to help keep air from flowing up, and zip your jacket up all the way. The less air that’s circulating through your clothes, the warmer you’ll feel. In turn, you’ll feel much warmer and not want to take your dog back inside so soon.
- Find a safe balm or wax for your dog’s paws. With the cold weather, your dog’s paws can get cracked and dry, especially if they’re walking on freezing cold concrete or pavement multiple times a day. Make sure it’s made from ingredients that are safe and healthy for dogs, as you definitely don’t want to harm your pet. Did you know that shea butter is safe for dogs? That’s right! You can put shea butter on your dog’s paws and not stress about their health if they lick some of the leftover residue. Balms and waxes are great for dogs of all shapes and sizes, and they’ll be a helpful addition to walking your dog during the winter season.
- Consult with your vet. If your dog is older, or if your dog has any health issues that might come up while they’re out for winter walks with you, consult with your vet. Your dog’s vet will always know what’s best for your pup, and if you have any concerns you can easily speak with your dog’s vet to get clarification. A vet is a great resource to use when you’re unsure about something, so why not give them a call as it gets colder to see what tips and tricks they have for you?
- Avoid metal. Leave your metal jewelry at home, and swap out their metal tag for a silicone or non-metal custom pet tag alternative. This way, you can still include the same necessary information without worrying about the metal absorbing the cold temperature and feeling freezing against your dog’s skin. Metals are good thermal conductors, meaning they can take heat from objects and appear warmer or cooler to the touch than other materials. A comfortable, non-metal material will help to keep them safe and healthy on their winter walks with you.
- Invest in a pair of winter boots. If you live somewhere that gets cold or has frequent winter weather, consider investing in a pair of quality winter boots. This way, your feet won’t get soaked with snow, sleet or rainwater when you’re out walking the dog. Plus, you’ll be able to navigate the terrain more comfortably, especially if your dog likes to walk on hills and in grassy areas. You can easily traverse the snow without worrying about your feet getting cold or sinking into the snow.
Walking in the wintertime with your dog can be tough, especially if you don’t have the proper gear. There are a few things you can do to make walking in the winter easier for you and your dog. Whether you invest in a new collar and leash or you chat with their vet first, making your wintertime walks a bit easier isn’t all that difficult once you get down to it.