Brrr! Winter is here in Berkshire County, and that means you and your dog need to be prepared for all the snow with these eight tips for walking your dog this season.
Your dog needs the same level of love and attention during the cold winter months. Frequent exercise, although more of a challenge, is so important! It’s no secret that dogs love to run and play in the snow, but it’s important to remember a few things before taking your furry friend out for a winter walk.
Dress Your Dog Appropriately
First and foremost, always be sure to dress your dog appropriately for the weather conditions. You want to keep your dog warm while outside. If it’s snowy or icy, be sure to put boots on your dog’s feet. You can buy special boots for dogs at most pet stores, or you can make your own out of socks and rubber bands. If it’s really cold outside, consider putting a coat on your pup. And if it’s raining or sleeting, be sure to bring an umbrella on your walk. This does not apply for all breeds but watch and observe your dog’s response to temperature and dress them appropriately as needed.
Check the Temperature
Before taking your dog outside, always check the temperature to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold for them. Dogs are susceptible to both hypothermia and hyperthermia, so be careful! For more tips to keep your dog warm, check out our cold weather guide.
Watch Out for Ice and Salt
When walking your dog in winter weather watch out for ice and salt on the roads and sidewalks. These can be very dangerous for your pet. Ice can cause slips and falls, and salt can irritate your dog’s paws. Be sure to wipe their feet off when you come back inside, and give them a good drink of water.
It’s not safe to walk your dog in icy or snowy conditions. If the sidewalks are too slick, wait until they’ve been cleared before taking your pup out for a walk.
Bring a Towel
If your dog gets wet while outside, be sure to bring a towel with you so you can dry them off. Wet dogs can easily become cold and sick, so it’s important to get them dried off as soon as possible especially during the cold weather months.
Choose an Effective Leash
It’s important to choose the right leash for walking your dog in the winter. If you’re using a retractable leash, be careful not to let it out too far, or else risk losing control of your dog. Also, avoid leashes that are more than six feet long because they can easily get tangled up on objects and hurt your pet. Think about using a leash that assists with controlling your pet if you have a puller!
Using leashes with reflectors when it is dark out can help make cars aware of your dog and yourself. Since it gets darker earlier during the day this is especially important during the winter months.
Take Shorter Walks
When walking your dog in the winter, it’s important to take shorter walks. If you’re not used to the colder weather, chances are neither is your pup! It can be difficult for them to adjust when going from being inside all day long to being out in the snow and ice all at once. So give him or her time before taking them on a long walk through Berkshire County.
If you and your pup are both getting tired or cold, it’s time to call the walk quits. Never push yourself or your pet too hard in winter weather conditions. Remember safety first!
Make Sure Your Dog is Wearing Proper Identification
All season advice! If for some reason you and your dog get separated while out on a walk, it’s important that he or she is wearing proper identification. This will help ensure that you are reunited as quickly as possible. You can buy ID tags at most pet stores, or you can use a microchip to permanently identify your dog.
Sign Up for Daycare or Dog Walking
At Berkshire Dogs Unleashed we offer doggie daycare and walking services so your dog can get some much-needed exercise and socialization during the winter months. We also offer boarding services if you are going out of town or need a place for your pup to stay. Our facility is open 7 days a week for all daycare and boarding services. Call us today at (413) 464-6384 to schedule an appointment.
Berkshire Dogs Unleashed
Of course, these aren’t all of the tips for walking your dog this winter season in Berkshire County – but following them will definitely help make things easier and safer for you and your dog!
Now that you’re all set with the tips for walking your dog during winter, get out there and enjoy the snow. Berkshire County has some of the best scenery around, so make sure to take advantage of it while you can. And if you need a break from the cold, be sure to bring your pup over to Berkshire Dogs Unleashed for a day of fun! We offer indoor and outdoor play areas as well as plenty of cuddles and love.