Winter dog walking: a guide

Winter dog walking can be unappealing for both you and your canine companion, but it’s still important to get them out so they can stretch their legs and get some fresh air.

Whether your dog enjoys winter walks or becomes lazier in nippy weather, it’s useful to know the best ways to make sure they get the required amount of daily exercise.

Invest in a puppy winter jacket

Dogs with double coats like Alaskan Huskies and Golden Retrievers cope better in cold weather, while shorthaired breeds and dogs with a higher percentage of lean body tissue could benefit from an extra layer. Keep breeds such as poodles or greyhounds warmer during cold weather dog walking with a wool or quilted jacket.

Be sure to stay aware of any changes in the weather while on your walk. You don’t want your pooch overheating in their jacket if the sun suddenly comes out.

Get the right winter dog walking gear for dark nights

Make winter dog walking both fun and safe with some after-dark gear. Get matching reflective vests for you and your dog so you’re seen in the night or invest in an LED collar for them. Not only will it keep your dog visible to drivers and other pedestrians but it’ll help you find them if they wander off.

Speaking of finding them if they’ve wandered off, the V-Pet Tracker by Vodafone is a smart GPS tracker that lets you keep tabs on your pet and monitor their health and wellbeing.

Bring winter dog activities indoors

If it’s too cold to spend much time outdoors, bring their workout inside with a canine conditioning kit. Use agility equipment and balance boards alongside instructional videos to keep your dog’s joints and muscles in top shape.

Alternatively, playing fetch with your dog on the stairs or creating a treasure hunt game with their favourite treat will have them working up a sweat at home. Incorporating activities into your dog’s routine doesn’t just maintain their ideal weight, it’s also great for their mental health and wellbeing too.

Take extra care of older dogs

If you’re the owner of an elderly dog with arthritis, spending too much time in cold weather won’t be enjoyable for them. Take extra care in cold or damp weather by going on shorter, more frequent walks and avoiding steep hills or too many steps. You should also avoid walks in the rain if you can.

Walks are the highlight of your dog’s day, so don’t let chilly weather get in the way. Take a few extra precautions and keep active, happy and healthy over winter.

Try our Dog Exercise Calculator to find out how much exercise your dog needs based on age and breed.

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Curated by the in-house team.

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