Just like us, our dogs need exercise in the winter months too. If your dog is used to running or walking during the other seasons there is no reason why they should not be able to continue throughout the winter. Here are a few tips and precautions to take before you head out into the cold.
- Be aware of chemicals on the ground. Ice melt and salt can cause irritation or abrasions on paw pads and can also upset dog’s stomach if ingested. Be sure to wipe your dog’s feet, legs and chest with a damp cloth after being out on the sidewalks to remove any chemical residue.
- Consider using booties on your pet’s paws to protect their feet from slippery or sharp ice.
- Before and after a run or walk you can rub petroleum jelly into their paw pads to keep them from cracking or splitting.
- Offer plenty of water; dogs can dehydrate easily in the cold and dry winter air.
- Check the hair between their toes, ice and snow can accumulate into little balls and hurt when they walk or run.
- Use common sense; if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for them. If you have access to a treadmill you can teach them how to run on one by starting slow and holding a treat in front of them then slowly increasing the speed over several days.