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Walking Your Dog in Winter

January 15, 2021

Does your canine pal like the snow? Or does he keep his walks short and sweet at this time of year? No matter what camp Fido falls into, you’ll need to take some extra precautions on those daily strolls until warmer weather returns. A Peterborough, ON vet offers some tips on walking dogs in winter below.

Wear Reflective Gear

It gets dark very early at this time of year. Make sure that drivers can see you! Wear pale clothing yourself, and get reflective gear for Fido as well. Consider getting a leash with a flashlight built in, or one with blinking lights attached. You may find it easier to designate a specific jacket for walking your pooch That way, you can keep the pockets filled with necessities like gloves, treats, and waste baggies.

Paw Protection

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can cause painful burns and abrasions on your canine companion’s feet. (Some dogs appreciate having boots, but this is by no means a unanimous opinion.) Use paw balm to protect Fido’s paw pads. Also, keep his nails and toe fur tufts trimmed.

Choose Good Footwear

Make sure that you are wearing boots or sneakers with good tread. You don’t want to take a spill if your pup pulls on the leash!

Watch The Terrain

Snow and ice can hide potential dangers, such as holes and broken glass. Pay attention to where you are taking your furry friend. Avoid hazards like riverbanks, steep hills, and frozen bodies of water.

Choose Pet-Safe De-Icing Agents

This one mostly applies to homeowners. If you live in a condo or apartment building, you can make requests, but you ultimately may not have much say over what products they use. That said, pick pet-safe melting products when you can. Otherwise, wipe Fido’s feet down with a damp washcloth before bringing him in.


Does your pooch need a jacket? If so, we advise getting him a few different ones, so he’ll always have something to wear if one is wet or dirty. Don’t get Fido anything that impairs his vision or movement. Items with zippers and/or small parts should also be avoided.

Enjoy Warmer Days

Sooner or letter, the cold will let up. Take advantage of these little breaks, and go for longer walks on those days.

As your Peterborough, ON veterinary clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!