January is Walk Your Dog Month. I know it is the last day of the month, but you know what? That doesn’t matter because you should be walking your doge every day of the year, not just in January. Actually, you should even be walking your dog in the cold and snow if you live in a winter climate.
Back in the first week of October for National Walk Your Dog Week, we listed seven great reasons to walk your dog. If you missed that post, or can’t imagine there are seven reasons why you should be walking your pup, have a look at that post. Today I’m going to talk more about winter walking which is for some folks unimaginable.
Know Your Dog!
Dogs do get cold, as do humans. Most dogs don’t need a coat, but you need to know how your dog adapts to the colder temperatures. We never wear coats unless we are tiny puppies, but we do wear booties. The salt on the street is bad for paws, and can be painful. When the temps dip below zero, the snow and pavement can also cause a burning sensation on the paws. We know many small breeds, or breeds without much fur may need a coat. Whether or not a coat is needed is for the pet parent to decide.
If the snow is real wet, it will pack between the paw pads, and form ice balls which make it painful to walk. Keeping the furs trimmed on the bottom of the paws helps a little bit, but the best solution is to wear some shoes. Your dog may fight you when you try to put them on, and they may also walk real silly at first, but I bet you a marrow bone they will be just fine once you get outside.
Everyone Needs Exercise!
It’s not healthy for humans or dogs to stay cooped up in the house just because it is cold and/or snowy outside. I get it, not all people and dogs love winter, but if you embrace the season rather than dread it, your life will improve. Even tiny dogs with almost no fur can put on a coat and boots and go around the block once or twice a day. If it is extreme weather, do be careful with older, or sickly dogs and the elements. Dogs need to go out to use the bathroom no matter what, so why not leash them up and at least go down the block and back? Even during this Arctic blast we get two, ten minute walks, more like runs, but we get out there.
Most Dogs Love The Snow!
We love getting out in the snow. The combination of cold and snow gets our wild pants going. Romping through the deep stuff, sticking our noses in the snow to sniff out critters, it is a lot of fun. Even just sitting in the snow for a photo is fun. There are dogs who freeze, and we know that wouldn’t be fun for them, but most dogs love snow. Humans dressed properly can also enjoy the snow. Have your human make a snow angel. I bet they will be shocked at how playful it makes us dogs. We think it is a fun game for dogs, or our human is rolling in something smelly.
Make Some Rules.
Mom knows us as far as what we can do at what temperatures. Anything above zero, we walk our normal walk of an hour or more. If it is below zero to about minus ten, we need boots and can go for up to an hour walk. Anything more than minus ten degrees means boots and short fast walks. Always watch your dogs for any signs of them being too cold. Most days warm up around midday, which is perfect for a longer walk. Humans can bundle up with boots, snow pants, jackets, hats, gloves, whatever they need to stay warm. Our mom loves those frigid morning walks. She gets just as frosty as we do, and never seems to get cold either.
Try getting out for Walk Your Dog Month, but remember to keep walking the other eleven months of the year, no matter what the weather. Your dog will love you for it, you will both feel better physically, and mentally, and it is simply fun!
We are thankful for wintertime, our favorite season, so we are joining Brian’s Home Blog in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop! Visit some other blogs to see what they are thankful for.