Winters remind us of cozy snuggles and comfortable naps. Yet, it is important to get enough exercise for staying active and healthy. Your pet might show some lazy signs and resist stepping out of the house. But it is your responsibility to engage them in adequate physical activities.
If you really want to take your pet outside for walks during winter, make it safe. Still confused about how to protect your dog from the cold? Given below are some tips that will keep your pet safe during winter walks:
1. Choose the warmest part of the day
One of the most essential aspects of winter walks is “temperature check”. The capacity of dogs to bear cold temperatures is different from humans. So, you will have to be careful about the time you choose to take them out for walks. Whenever you plan to go out, check the temperature as per your pet’s comfort. It is important to note that extremely cold weather with rain, precipitation, and chilly winds can harm their health.
Even if you step out with appropriate clothing, extreme temperatures will never be good. There are many factors that decide the level of risk – age, breed, fur, etc. It is advisable to go out for walks and exercise during afternoons. If it becomes a compulsion to step out before the afternoon, make sure to come home soon. Additionally, you can also look for a weather forecast before you set your mind for a walk.
2. Prep your pet
Needless to mention, your dog needs protection from the cold. A layer of proper warm clothes can keep your pet’s winter walks safe. Here are some ideas:
– Jackets and coats
Invest in a good quality jacket or coat for your pet. The coat must be warm enough to protect it from chilly winds. In addition to that, it should not make your pet feel suffocated while walking. The material must be breathable enough. It might feel like a task to make your pet wear a coat because they don’t like it much. However, it is important to keep them safe.
Boots are available in all sizes for dogs. It is a great way to protect their paws from the cold. It can be harsh for their bare paws to bear the cold as they are directly exposed.
We remain extra vigilant towards our skin care during winters. Your pet needs the same attention as winters can make their paws dry. Use a good quality paw cream or wax to prevent cracks. These cracks can also be the reason for any irritation in the paws.
3. Keep it short
We understand it is not possible to eliminate outdoor visits but you can shorten it. Staying in the cold for a long time can be harmful for your dog. Whenever you step out of the house, make it a point to return back fast. If they need to pee, make it fast and spend time indoors for exercise.
Alternatively, you can invest more time playing or engaging them with toys inside your home. This will make sure that they get their daily dose of exercise and stay safe from colds. You can also play with them as much as possible before going out for a walk or any business.
4. Look for signs
If you notice any unusual signs, consult a vet. Now, what are these signs exactly? If you observe some kind of resistance in their behavior, take it as an NO. Your pet might not be able to refuse directly but will give you indications.
For e.g. If your pet looks disinterested when you try to take them out, do not compel them. They might whine or shiver due to cold or fear. Remember, it is completely ok to skip walks, especially if your pet doesn’t want to. Compelling something can prove to be fatal for their health. Instead, play some fun games at your home and shower them with your love.
5. Have a health check
Winters can be a little tough for your pet’s joints and bones. If your dog has arthritis, you might want to pay special attention. When it’s time for exercise, shorten the time spent outdoors. In case of any pain, use natural supplements like glucosamine.
You can also go for other joint supplements before you step out for walks. This will remove any stiffness in their joints. Make it a point to feed them the right amount of nutrients. Cold weather asks for a high energy level, especially if your pet goes outdoors. The best way to maintain a balanced diet is by consulting a vet.
Most pets love spending time outdoors but precaution is better than cure. It is rather safe to spend time indoors rather than risk their health in winters. As a pet owner, make it a point to follow all the precautionary measures while stepping out.
Ensure to check the temperature and make them wear warm clothes. After you come from walks, give proper care to avoid dry and flaky skin. Winters are also a great time to spend quality time with your pet in the comfort of your home. So, make it count!