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Walking Your Dog in Winter

Like it or not, winter is on the way. As the temperatures drop, you may want to make your dog’s walks short and sweet. There are some specific concerns for you to be aware of when walking your pup in cold weather. Read on as a local London, ON vet discusses walking your dog in winter.

Paw Care

Snow, ice, salt, sand, and chemical deicers can all be very hard on your pup’s furry feet. Consider buying or making some booties for your pooch to wear. If your furry pal doesn’t like shoes, protect his delicate paw pads with paw balm or wax. It’s also a good idea to wipe Fido’s paws down with a damp cloth after each walk, to remove any residue he may have picked up. Remember to keep those nails trimmed as well: overgrown claws can make it hard for your four-legged friend to get good traction on ice. Finally, be very careful when walking your canine buddy right after a snowfall. Fresh snow can hide dangerous objects, such as broken glass. You don’t want your pet getting a cut on his paw!

Clothes

Pooches with thin fur may need doggy clothes to help keep them warm when temperatures drop. When shopping for Fido, avoid buying anything with dangling threads or small pieces, such as buttons. Zippers are also a no-no: you don’t want your canine pal’s fur getting caught in the teeth. Last but not least, make sure that your pet’s clothes fit him well, and aren’t itchy or tight.

Safety

Don’t take your four-legged friend too close to frozen bodies of water, such as ponds, rivers, or lakes. Fido could possibly run out onto thin ice and fall in! It gets dark early in winter, so keep a flashlight with you, and use reflective clothing and leashes.

Exercise

Your canine companion may have a fur coat on, but he isn’t immune to the effects of cold weather. Senior dogs, puppies, nursing mamas, and pets with thin fur are particularly susceptible. If your furry buddy falls into one of these categories, try to keep his walks short and sweet when it’s really cold outside. Ask your vet for recommendations on exercising Fido indoors.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. As your London, ON veterinary clinic, we are always happy to assist!

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