Walking your dog in the middle of winter can be uncomfortable for both you and your pet. While some dogs are better suited for snow and freezing temperatures, other breeds don’t fare as well without extra protection. Investing in winter dog walking essentials can make your pet more comfortable outside.
While not all dogs require winter gear, it can be beneficial for breeds with thinner coats, less body fat, or those who are not as active. If your dog appears chilly on your winter walks, consider these essentials to keep them warm and comfortable:
1. Dog jackets
Dogs like huskies, malamutes, and samoyeds have thick, fluffy coats of fur that keep them warm in cold temperatures. Other dogs with less fur or thinner coats may need extra protection against the cold and snow. Dogs like greyhounds, dachshunds, or chihuahuas have less fur and body fat or muscle to keep them warm. If you live in an area that hits freezing temperatures in the winter, your dog may benefit from an extra layer on your walks.
If your dog has a short coat of hair or appears to be shivering when they walk outside, this could be a sign that your dog needs a coat. Your vet will know best if a winter coat is right for your dog based on their breed, age, and activity level.
2. Dog booties
There are many hazards in the winter that can harm your pet’s paws. Freezing temperatures may be difficult for your dog to stand without extra protection. The cold, frozen ground can cause your pet’s paws to dry and crack, which is very uncomfortable for them.
You also should consider if the sidewalk or street you’re walking on has been treated with any chemical de-icers or salt. Harsh chemicals are bad for your dog’s skin and large grains of street salt can get stuck in your dog’s paw or even break the skin.
If you are around a lot of snow or ice, buying dog booties with secure traction on the bottom and adjustable straps can keep your pet from slipping on ice or injuring their paws. The added stability is also good for dogs who have hip problems as there is less stress on the area to keep balance.
3. Harness leash
If your dog has a tendency to pull against their leash, a traditional collar can be uncomfortable for both you and your dog. It can add extra strain on their neck and doesn’t allow you to have the control over your dog that other leashes do. A harness that clips in the front minimizes pulling as you walk your dog. This is ideal for pet owners who are training their dogs or for those who own stronger dog breeds that require more control.
Walking your dog in the winter doesn’t have to be a chore! By making your dog more comfortable outside you’ll improve your walking experience for both parties.
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