Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Keep Yourself Safe While Walking Your Dog - Winter Weather Tips

Some dogs are naturally equipped to endure cold winter weather. Many actually thrive in it. My Sheltie, with her thick, double coat, never seems to be cold. Huskies are another breed who loves, and needs, cold temperatures. To make walking these dogs safe and tolerable, we need to protect ourselves from these harsh winter conditions.

Snow...I love the winter!

One of the biggest and most dangerous issues is icy roads and sidewalks. Black ice can easily catch you by surprise and send you tumbling, especially if your furry friend gives an unexpected tug on the leash. When walking, be on the outlook for surfaces that look wet and a little shiny. If the temperature is below 30 degrees wet will most likely mean frozen. Sometimes the road less traveled is the best way to go. Walking on snow covered surfaces can be safer than slick, clean areas.

Be sure to wear cold weather boots with deep treads on the soles to help you grip the road. Keep your
A little snow won't stop my walk!
pup on a short leash holding with 2 hands so you both walk next to each other. Walking in this position will give you more control and stability if you get an unexpected tug.

Wearing proper clothing to keep yourself warm and dry during the walk is a given. However, keeping hands and fingers properly insulated is always a challenge for me. Although I always wear gloves, the cold and wind makes my skin dry and painful. Protect your hands by first covering your skin with a layer of thick lotion - the petroleum jelly type works best - before putting on gloves.

Look at my shadow...I'm really bundled!
In extreme cold, frostbite is always a concern. Be sure to have a warm scarf to cover your mouth and nose and a hat that keeps your ears covered. It's surprising how fast frostbite cans set in in sub zero weather. When the temperatures fall into negative numbers it's best to keep the walks short for the safety of both you and your pup. If daily exercise is a must, take frequent short walks rather than one or two long ones.

For information on keeping your pets safe in harsh winter weather please visit Cold Weather Care For Your Dog and What To Do If Your Dog Gets Frostbite.

Does your dog like to go out even on the coldest winter days? Please share your tips on how you stay warm on your end of the leash!

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