5 Tips for Better Winter Walks

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 11:23:45 AM America/Los_Angeles

Chilly weather is not only unpleasant, cold surfaces can damage unprotected paws and the cold air can lower the body’s immune defenses. For older doggos dealing with ailments such as joint pain, winter walks can be downright uncomfortable if not painful. How can you make this essential part of your fur baby’s routine more bearable? A little bit of prep and planning makes cold weather walks a bit more comfy and enjoyable for everyone! 

Photo by Brooke Cagle

Equip Dogs With Winter Accessories

Dog booties, sweaters, and jackets can make a world of difference when the weather outside is frightful. During the colder months, these accessories can be just as essential as a leash and harness. They not only keep your furry one warm, they protect your pup from harsh elements that can lead to dry and irritated skin. You might also consider purchasing clothing or a harness that features reflective fabric for those days when the sun seems to set extra early. 

Opt for Shorter Walks

Minimize the likelihood for cold weather related issues such as chapped paws and upper respiratory infections by shortening walks on the coldest of days. One way to shorten outdoor walks is to utilize an indoor dog bathroom. A real bark pee pad like Bark Potty is not only intuitive to use, it also helps reduce time spent outdoors. Another option is to play indoors so that your pup gets their exercise, and then take a quick trip outside just to take care of business. 

Use Protective Balms 

Skin is already drier in extreme weather, and cold surfaces can further irritate paw pads, which are less protected by fur and more exposed the most to the elements. Areas that use sidewalk salt can be especially rough on paws, and care should be taken to make sure that skin has been protected, cleaned, and moisturized. 

Enlist Dog Walkers

If early morning walks are unbearable for your region in the winter, a midday visit from a dog walker may be the solution. Take advantage of the warmer air and brighter sun later in the day for a less chilly stroll. Provide a wee wee pad so that your canine companion has a pet potty to use after breakfast, and have a walker take them out for a walk once the day gets a bit warmer.