Historically speaking, we know that January and February can be the coldest months here in Iowa. Our dogs can always benefit from exercise, though. In fact, a regular dog walk remains one of the best forms of exercise for any pup. As professional dog walkers and pet sitters, we have some tips to make your winter walks more enjoyable.
Dog Walker Tips for Walking in the Cold
Get coats for your pups
This sounds extremely obvious, but some dogs thrive in the cold, like huskies and other dense coated breeds. These types won’t always need a coat, but the smaller, light-coated breeds should always bundle up. Keep in mind that if you think it’s too cold out, then don’t take any chances. Stay inside and walk another day. It’s very important to also discuss any activities or changes with your veterinarian. If you need advice on what coat to buy your doggie, ask your dog walker.
Think safe as a dog walker
For humans, dress in layers. Again, this is obvious, but the concept can often be overlooked. We always recommend a good pair of slip-resistant boots. Icy patches can be found on any sidewalk in the winter, and the right boots can prevent a fall or worse, a broken tailbone.
This next thing might be painfully obvious, but be wary of your steps. When you are walking in an area that you know is icy, devote a section of your mind to remembering that any step could cause you to slip. And if all else fails, take small calculated steps.
Train your dog
A dog that pulls you through the neighborhood with wreck-less abandon during the warmer months is one thing. Now just add ice, snow, and cold temperatures. That doesn’t make things better, right? That’s why practicing good walking behavior all year around can pay-off in the winter months and again can prevent unwanted injuries. Ideally, walk your dog with no longer than a six-foot leash and keep them to your side in the heel position. Be a good ‘mirror’ for your dog at all times. If you are calm and collected, they are more likely to be the same.
If you have any questions about dog walking, pet sitting, or kennel alternatives, please reach out to us at [email protected]