5 tips for walking your dog in the cold

This content is provided by Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital.

The cold weather months are here and we are all feeling the effects. Even though the temperatures have dropped, it’s still important to get dogs out for exercise. In honor of Walk Your Pet month, here are a few things pet parents need to be mindful of when taking your furry friend out for a stroll in these freezing temps.

Pets are sensitive to the wind chill factor. This is when the temperature feels colder than it the actual temperature. Keep this in mind as when the weather is cold and wind is blowing, you should keep walks to short times to lessen exposure to the temps.

Rain and snow dampen our four-legged friends coats. When this happens, it makes them more prone to the cold temps. Frost bite and the inability to maintain temperatures happen when our dog’s fur gets soaked.  Be sure to thoroughly dry off your pet when they come back inside and try coats and sweaters when they are outdoors to help them stay warm and dry.

Another factor to consider when walking your dog during these colder months is their breed. Smaller dogs get colder quicker than larger dogs. Keep the toy breeds outside for no longer than 10-15 minutes. Larger dogs and “cold weather breeds” like Huskies can stay out a little longer, but should not do more than 30 minutes.

Also consider the health condition of your pet. Pets who have multiple heath conditions will not tolerate the cold weather.

Lastly, ice melt can hurt our pet’s paws. Using pet friendly ice melt will help around your house but the road stuff is harsh. Consider boots to protect paws from the cold and the salt.

Overall these tips can help your pet enjoy the cold weather and keep them active outdoors during the winter season.

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