Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by ellen
These winter dog walking tips can make all the difference in how much you and your dog enjoy your walk. Check out my tips today.
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Winter Dog Walking Tips
In warm or cold weather, your dog will need to get outside for exercise every day. And, taking a walk in the snow brings along its own challenges.
Walking your dog in the winter is a challenge if you are also dealing with cold temperatures and snow. If you live in a more temperate area, winter isn’t as much of an issue.
So, if you’re reading this article, I am going to assume you get snow and cold temperatures in the winter. In Vermont, our winter can start as early as late October. And, it often goes all the way into April.
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So, how cold is too cold to walk a dog?
A large or medium-sized dog that’s in good health can easily take a 30-minute walk if the temperature is above 20F. Smaller dogs should not walk in those conditions for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
If the temperature is below zero, no dog should be outside taking a walk. Limit their exposure to brief potty breaks.
Find out what you should do if your dog is eating snow.
How do I walk my dog in the winter?
To be prepared, you should plan your walk ahead of time so that you have everything you need on hand.
- Keep the walk short.
- Keep the hair on their paws clipped so ice and snow don’t build up.
- Be sure that their paws are protected with dog booties or paw wax.
- Moisturize their paws regularly so they don’t become dry, crack, and bleed.
- Wipe their paws off when you get home to remove snow and salt.
Can dogs walk in the snow barefoot?
Your dog’s paws are made to handle contact with snow and ice. However, you can certainly get them booties if they will tolerate them.
And, it’s always important to protect and moisturize your dog’s paws with a good quality paw wax.
Learn how to care for your dog’s paws in the winter.
Do dogs need coats in winter weather?
A medium or large dog with a thick, heavy coat should not need a coat. However, smaller dogs or dogs that are not made for cold weather may need a coat for extra warmth.
There are lots of cute dog jackets that can help your dog stay warm if you’re planning on winter dog walking.
What about indoor dog walking?
There are a number of malls and pet stores that allow you to bring your pet along. If the weather is truly awful and your dog needs a bit of exercise, look for these places to walk them inside.
Just be sure to plan ahead with a leash. And, don’t forget to reward them with a dog biscuit when you get back home.
Winter dog walking gear
There are many different dog walking supplies you should keep on hand when you go for a walk with your pet.
However, if you’re considering winter dog walking, I would recommend the following:
If you’re walking your dog in the winter and it’s dark, you definitely need to bring along a good flashlight.
You can find lots of great cold water supplies right here.
- Cute dog jackets for cold weather
- Top 5 items to bring on a dog walk
- Tips for walking senior dogs
- Fun toys for hamsters
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.