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Walking your dog in Winter

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Walking your dog in Winter

Regular walks are beneficial for you and your pet and it gives you both time to bond and keep healthy together.

In the summer it’s easier to get out for long walks with your dog but staying motivated in the winter when it’s cold and dark can be a lot harder. Here’s some tips to help make walking your dog in winter more enjoyable.

Before you head out

Dogs love going out for walks, but not all breeds can handle the cold as well as others. Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies were bred for cold weather, whereas Greyhounds, Pugs and French Bulldogs have a much harder time adjusting to the cold.

To ensure your winter walk is enjoyable, there are a few things you can do before you venture outside.

  • Layer clothing and wear a hat and gloves to help keep the cold weather at bay
  • Winter boots or wellies will keep your feet dry on rainy days and muddy footpaths
  • If your dog is susceptible to cold temperatures, they may appreciate a water-resistant coat or sweater
  • Protect paws from salt, chemicals and other irritants, with some booties or rubber dog boots made for dogs. If your dog does not want to wear something like this, you can consider using paw wax to help protect their pads. Remember to wipe their paws before going back inside to remove the wax and anything else they may have picked up

 When you’re outside

  • For the darker nights you can put a flashing collar on your dog so you can see them if they are off lead. You can also take a torch with you to help you see them
  • Instead of walking for long periods of time to wear them out, take them to the park to play fetch and let them run around
  • Limit the amount of time your dog is outside if it’s very cold to help prevent hypothermia or frostbite. They may have a fur coat, but they can still feel the cold like us humans! If they are showing any signs of whining, shivering, nervous behaviour, stopping or trying to burrow somewhere when outside you should head home and inside as soon as possible
  • Snow can seem fun for dogs, but try not to let them eat it as it can lower their body temperature and may contain harmful chemicals or hidden objects
  • Watch out for frozen ponds. It can be dangerous for your dog to walk on the ice, especially if it’s thin as they may fall through

 Heading home

  • When you return home, wipe your dog’s paws, legs and belly with a damp cloth to remove any mud and dirt from their fur or anything that may irritate their skin.
  • Winter walks may take a little more preparation, but can be fun for you and your dog, and best of all you get to snuggle up in the warm on the sofa afterwards

Keeping your dog active inside

  • Play games indoors, such as hiding their toys or playing fetch with a soft toy
  • If you have enough room, you can create an obstacle course for your dog inside to keep them fit and active
  • Train them indoors to teach your pet how to greet guests, walking properly on a lead or teaching them to sit and roll over. This can all be great obedience training for when they do go outside
  • A pet gym can be a great way to exercise your pet and some have classes that give both pets and owners a workout too

 Getting rid of ‘that’ wet dog smell

There’s no denying, no matter how much you love them, dogs can smell when they are wet. Before you come back inside make sure you dry them as much as possible and you can even try spraying them with some doggy dry shampoo. This will eliminate odours and neutralise any bad smells


Our dog insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that your dog will be treated with the care they deserve if they get ill or are injured. You can compare our pet policies and get the best cover to suit your dog.


By Melissa Pickburn

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