As we all dream of a white Christmas, dog owners eagerly anticipate snowy walks with their pups. However, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience requires careful preparation.
Here are some things to consider before embarking on a snowy adventure with your beloved pup.
Choose Appropriate Winter Gear
For Your Dog:
Dog Coats and Sweaters
Invest in a high-quality dog coat or jumper to keep your furry friend warm during chilly walks. Breeds with shorter fur, elderly dogs, or those with health conditions benefit significantly from the added warmth.
Protective Paw Gear
Dog booties serve a dual purpose—they shield your dog's paws from cold surfaces and protect them from harmful substances like road salt.
Ensure the booties fit well and allow your dog to walk comfortably.
Not all dogs will enjoy wearing boots and they may need to be introduced slowly. Alternatively, invest in a Natural Paw Balm to sooth delicate feet.
A Cosy Drying Bag for after cold walks
After your pup has had their fun frolicking in the snow, the perfect way to reward them is with a cosy warm-up in their Dog Drying Bag. Not only will it remove any snow and debris from the walk, it will dry off melted snow and keep them warm and snug in the process.
For the Dog Walker:
If you’re going out for a stomp in the snow, it’s essential to wear waterproof and insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry - at least if you want to enjoy yourself! Cold, wet feet can turn you into the Christmas Grinch and even lead to health issues. Choose boots with good traction to navigate snowy and potentially slippery paths.
Another valuable tip for our fellow dog walkers is to dress in layers. Opt for moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer to stay warm and dry in various weather conditions. Layering your clothing allows you to moderate your temperature throughout your walk depending on the level of exercise and the outside temperature.
Don't forget gloves to shield your hands from the biting cold! A decent pair of waterproof gloves will not only keep you warm but also ensure your hands remain functional for lead control and poo bag handling.
Safe Practices During Snowy Walks
Adjust Walking Times
With shorter days in winter, where possible try to plan your walks during daylight hours to ensure visibility and safety. If walking at night, make sure that both you and your dog are wearing reflecting clothing. Read more expert tips for walking in the dark here →
Try to select walking routes that are dog-friendly and safe during winter. Parks and open spaces that are well-maintained are ideal for snowy strolls.
Check for Ice and Salt
Be mindful of icy patches on pavements and roads, and avoid them when possible.
Make it a habit to check your dog's paws for signs of injury or irritation. Ice, snow, and road salt can cause discomfort, so prompt attention to their paws is essential. After walks, wipe your dog's paws with a soft towel to remove any harmful salt residues from the walk.
Snow can alter scents and make it easier for dogs to lose their way. Keep your dog on a lead to ensure their safety and prevent them from running into hazardous areas.
Watch for signs of discomfort or distress in your dog, such as shivering or lifting their paws. If your dog seems uncomfortable, it's time to head back home and warm up.
While it's cold outside, hydration is still essential. Carry a small water bottle and a collapsible bowl for your dog to stay hydrated during your snowy adventures as any usual drinking spots may be frozen over in the cold weather.
Maintain your dog's grooming routine, ensuring their fur doesn't become matted with snow and ice. Trimming the hair between their paw pads can prevent ice build-up. The Clean & Pamper Gift Set contains everything you need for a nourishing winter grooming session.
Understanding Your Dog's Limits
Different dog breeds have varying tolerance levels for cold weather. While some breeds thrive in the snow, others, such as short-haired breeds, may need extra protection. It’s important to know your dog's breed characteristics and adjust accordingly.
Older dogs may have more difficulty regulating their body temperature. Monitor them closely for signs of discomfort, and consider shorter walks to prevent over-exertion.
Senior dogs may be more sensitive to the cold and have difficulty regulating their temperature. Consider shorter walks and provide extra insulation when outdoors. Monitor them closely and turn back home at the first sign of unease.
If your dog is not accustomed to snowy conditions, it can be beneficial to introduce them gradually. Start with shorter walks and monitor their response. Positive reinforcement, treats, and praise can help create a positive association with snowy outings and make them feel more comfortable in the unfamiliar conditions.
Walking your dog in the snow in the UK can be a fun experience with the right preparation. By choosing the appropriate winter gear, understanding your dog's limits, and practicing safe habits, you can ensure both you and your dog enjoy the magic of a snowy stroll while staying safe and protected.
While dog booties can be a great option, not all pups will be comfortable wearing them. Always wipe their paws after walks to remove salt and invest in a soothing & natural protective paw balm for added care.
It's generally safer to wait until the snow as eased off or ceased entirely before venturing out with you pup. Heavy snowfall can pose visibility and safety issues, however, if unavoidable consider shorter walks and stay close to home.
All copyright, design rights and intellectual property rights existing in our designs and products and in the images, texts and design of our website/marketing material are and will remain the property of Pawdaw of London. We will treat any infringement of these rights seriously.