With the severe drops in temperature we Canadians see each winter, we must watch the temperature to make sure it is appropriate for our fur babies to be walking in. Dogs need regular exercise and stimulation, some more than others (border collies we are looking at you!), so we can’t just keep our dogs inside all winter.
There isn’t a set temperature to not walk your dogs in, since there are so many differences in temperature tolerance between small and large dogs, long-haired and short-haired, single-coated and double-coated, healthy and over or underweight dogs, and more. We also must take note of whether the sun is out, if it’s raining or snowing, or a strong wind (meaning a colder temperature due to wind chill). Here are 3 winter walking tips from Tilted Barn Pet Co.!
Booties and Jackets
Fitting your dog with some booties or an insulating jacket is a great option for combating the cold weather. Not only are dog boots protective against ice-melters and rock salt, but it also keeps their paws warmer, and clean, and can increase grip for icier paths.
Jackets are also a great option, especially for wetter regions. Well-fitting dog jackets can keep your pup dry, which is a huge step towards staying warm. Science tip: Water has a much higher heat conductivity than air, meaning the heat from our bodies flows out to the water droplets on our skin at a much faster rate than to air. This makes us lose body heat at a much faster rate.
In preparation, for when you really need them, it’s a good idea make sure your dog gets used to wearing boots and a jacket. Making the first few times they wear them a very positive experience that doesn’t last too long, is a great way to start! Plus practice runs make for some pretty funny videos!
Keep walks shorter and more frequent
While booties and a jacket will help, sometimes these options aren’t available to us for any number of reasons. Another tip we have found helpful is to keep walks shorter and increase frequency. For example, instead of one one-hour walk, try three twenty-minute walks instead.
We also recommend increasing the number of indoor activities! We recommend using our all-natural, meaty, and delicious dog treats with some Messy Mutts stuff-able dog toys, a snuffle mat, or a treat dispenser! (Pssst! Here’s a fun DIY braided dog toy to stuff some treats in!).
We also love to play hide and seek with our treats! Using either our Miniwags or our regular treats broken up into small pieces, hide a few pieces around any room, hide a few (remember where you place them!), and watch your dog sniff around and find some treats! This flexes your dog’s search-and-find skill, can reduce stress, and of course, is a great mental stimulation. Depending on the search area, it can be great exercise too!
Walk Warmer Times of the Day
This last tip is fairly simple, choose warmer times of the day to walk your dog, if possible. This isn’t sustainable for many pup parents as they have jobs during the warmer hours of the day that keep them away from home, plus the sun goes down much earlier in the colder seasons.
We hope these winter walking tips from Tilted Barn Pet Co make your winter walking season a breeze!