Fit to Compete
Fit to Compete

Winter Walking for Healthy Dogs

As the nights draw in, and the weather gets colder and wetter, there are more dog walking hazards to be thinking about.

Light

Whether fitting in a morning or evening walk, there is a lot less sunlight to take advantage of during those dark winter months. Make sure you and your dog are visible, especially when walking down dark country lanes or off-lead. Attach lights to your dog’s collar and wear reflective clothes yourself. Try and stick to well-lit footpaths.

Weather

Some dogs are more capable of withstanding colder temperatures than others. You wouldn’t expect a hairless Chinese Crested dog to cope with the cold as well as an Alaskan Malamute! There are many wonderful coats and jumpers you can now buy for your dog, but remember a wet coat can actually make a dog colder so take a spare!

Mud

Always wash your dog’s feet after walking. This will remove mud and any grit salt from your dog’s paws, which could be a source of irritation, plus give you a chance to check for any thorns or debris hiding in their furry toes. It is thought that the disease Alabama Rot (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy – CRGV) is associated with muddy conditions and is more prevalent between November and May. This disease of unknown origin causes skin lesions and kidney failure and can be fatal. It is still very uncommon and poorly understood, but the current advice is to wash off any mud immediately after a walk.

Your dog will want a walk whatever the season, but if the weather is really awful then consider some indoor games.

Scent games, interactive toys and good old tug-of-war are great ways to entertain and tire out your dog in the warmth of home!

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