January is Walk Dog Month! This time of year can be trying for everyone, but people with pups face a few additional issues. The snow, cold, and darkness can make walking Fido pretty challenging! Read on as a Brampton, ON vet offers some advice on walking your canine buddy in winter.
Be sure to choose boots or sneakers with good tread, especially when it’s icy out. You don’t want to slip and fall if your pup lunges after a squirrel! You’ll also need to pay attention to your furry pal’s paws. Snow, salt, sand, and ice can damage Fido’s delicate paw pads. Paw wax can help moisturize and protect your pet’s feet.
It gets dark early at this time of year. This will make both you and your canine companion harder for drivers to spot. Fido should have a reflective leash and collar or harness. Be sure to wear light or reflective jackets yourself. If your pooch has thin fur, he’ll also need some protection from the cold. If your four-legged friend wears jackets, we recommend making sure he has at least two or three. That way, if one of them is wet or dirty, he’ll still have something to wear.
Many commercial de-icers contain chemicals that are toxic to pets. These can really irritate Fido’s furry feet! Plus, he could ingest these poisons, just by licking his paws. Choose pet-safe de-icing products. You may also want to wipe your dog’s paws down before bringing him in.
Fresh snow is pretty, but it can hide things like rocks, broken glass, and other dangerous items. Pay attention to the terrain. Stick to sidewalks, and avoid going off the trail. Stay away from riverbanks, frozen bodies of water, and areas where the snow could be hiding holes or other hazards.
Usually, daily walks account for a pretty significant part of Fido’s workout regimen. Of course, in winter, you and your furry buddy may both prefer to keep those strolls short and sweet. Your pooch will still need some exercise, though! Playing fits the bill. You can play Fetch inside, or hold a laser pointer for your canine friend to chase. Just pick an area that doesn’t have a lot of breakable objects.
Please contact us, your local Brampton, ON animal clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!