Winter Survival Ideas for You and Your Dog, As the weather turns decidedly wet, windy, snowy, and inclement, John has taken a look at his personal tips on enjoying the countryside.
People and Dogs have similar needs
Flexibility in the duration of a walk, or where you go, is also important for some breeds. (Spaniels, Labradors who are regularly working outside will have a much higher tolerance). My wife is always considering which rug to put on her horse as the weather/temperature changes daily. Warmth is a luxury we all crave. As temperatures plummet in the early hours and your heating may have gone off, a cozy bed really comes into its own. Talking of beds, where is your dog’s bed? Do you need to move it to a different location in the house in winter, for example, to avoid the draft or cold surface?
Dog Walking Safety for Owners
A friend of ours has had a hip replacement and her biggest fear is falling. Luckily her Labrador has been well trained on the lead and does not pull.
She has boots for normal walking and a pair of boots for slippery conditions. To avoid slipping on ice consider walking at a later time of day. In wet weather, our patio seems to grow an algae which always proves slippery. I know a friend’s decking which is amazing but becomes slippery when wet.
Ice on Rivers and Lakes are Dangerous for Dogs
Energy levels can fluctuate if you change your routine based on the weather. The fresh air and exercise is so good for you. The initial excitement of exploring snow will guarantee lots more energy is used by both of you. The opposite of this is, of course, if you stay in more than usual you will both be exercising less. Because of this, you may want to review the feeding levels you are giving your dog.
Sensible Winter Survival Ideas for You and your Dog When Walking In The Dark
Coat, gloves, hat, high viz jacket, yours and the dog’s, bright lead – Check. Remember your torch, (or head torch leaving you hands-free), that extra thermal layer and neck-warmer
Do your dress your dog or leave as nature intended?
Elderly people and children feel the cold. It is exactly the same for puppies and old dogs. Illness and medications can also make them more susceptible. Biscuit, our 11-year-old Border Terrier has a good coat, but if he has been clipped we will consider a waterproof jacket. Wearing an extra layer is especially useful for old dogs, thinly coated breeds, dogs who love to roll in puddles, and senior dogs who may have the onset of arthritis or rheumatism which you may not be fully aware of yet.
My Mud busting Tips