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Walking Your Dog In The Winter

Updated on October 13, 2008
Let's just walk anyway.
Let's just walk anyway.

Just because it's nippy (OK, cold) outside doesn't mean you shouldn't still walk the dog. Walks, games and sports in the winter-even in the snow-can still be great exercise for you and your pet. You don't ignore the elements, you just work with them and make adjustments as needed.

  • Feed Your Dog More-Maybe. If you play with or exercise your dog outside in the winter regularly, need to up his or her intake to make sure he or she is getting enough for body fat and nutrition. Dogs burn more calories to stay warm in colder temperatures.
  • Watch the Toes. Snow and salt can build up between a dog's toes. This is unfortable, can cause abrasions and can be unhealth if licked. Make sure you carefully wipe his feet with a towel every time you come in from outside.
  • Beware of Slippery Conditions. Also remember, ice and snow can create slippery conditions. Dogs can tear ligaments and sprain themselves just like we can. If you think this might be an issue where you walk, do go for nylon or leather boots for your dog to prevent problems.
  • Your Dog May Need to Bundle Up. A dog sweater or coat is a good idea for outings for small dogs, breeds with thin coats, dogs with medical conditions, or very old or very young dogs. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to colder temperatures due to a lack of body mass. And puppies cannot yet regulate their body temperature.

Whether or not you want to get out there, your dog needs some activity in the winter too. Bundle up and get him or her out there at least a few days each week, and you will see the difference in yourself too.


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