Winter dog walking safety is important! Not only do you have the weather to contend with, most of us end up out in the dark for our walking and running. Check out our 7 tips that keep us safe!
7 Winter Dog Walking Safety Tips
1. Be Seen With Bright Clothing
Humans seem to love black and other dark colored clothing, but it makes it hard to be seen. It is best to wear bright colored clothing, and if you have them reflective, or neon lights. Mom sometimes is out in dark running clothes, but she wears a neon lighted arm band and this reflective vest. If a car hits her, they are obviously either blind or not paying attention!
2. Light Up Your Canine Partner
Dogs, even white ones can be hard to see because we are smaller and shorter. When we walk or run in the dark, or even play in the yard, we all wear one of our Illumiseen glow necklaces. Drivers will first see Mom all illuminated, and then see our necks, even if the fur is covering the necklace. We don’t mind wearing them at all.
3. Proper Footwear For The Human
This is new in the past couple years since Mom broke her ankle while running with me. She now wears her icebug shoes and boots almost all the time when we walk and run. They make not only hiking boots, but running shoes. We are back to running when it is snowing and we love it! Walking on the icy walkways is also not a problem with these boots.
4. Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Remember, dogs have paws that can slip, or get hurt outside in the elements. Be especially careful we don’t slip and fall on ice as we can really hurt ourselves. For regular walks, our paws work just fine. On days where it is well below zero, or when the streets have just been treated for ice, we always wear our shoes. Mom slips the PAWZ boots on us and we are good to go. That ice treatment stuff burns our paws sort of like when humans get an ice cream headache – no fun! Bailie and I wear medium, but big foot the puppy is sporting large shoes!
5. Does Your Dog Need A Coat
It really depends on the breed of your dog. We don’t wear any coats, and are plenty warm with our natural furs. Some dogs with thin furs might need a coat. Young puppies may need a coat. Bailie and I each wore a coat a few times in the extreme cold, but Olivia has plenty of warm furs already. If you are out walking at a good speed or running, there is also less of a need for a coat to keep warm.
6. Running With Your Pup In The Winter
My mom loves to run with dogs year round, but in the winter it can be tricky. With the icebug running shoes, she feels secure and is once again running with me and Bailie in the snow. Super cold, sub zero temperatures are dangerous for humans and dogs to run in, so if the thermometer dips below zero, it is best to take a walk instead. Humans can cover their nose and mouth with a scarf to keep the extreme cold out, but that doesn’t work well for canines. Take the day off from running and have a nice walk instead.
7. Pay Attention To Your Time Outside
Even if you always walk for an hour, if the snow is deep, or the temperature is sub zero, shorten your walk. Dogs get tired of hopping through deep snow, but they may not let you know they are tired. Dogs will also get cold in an Arctic blast. If your dog never goes out, don’t start by going for a long walk. We are creatures and we need to acclimate our bodies to the weather just as humans do, and we also need to build our muscles.
Take the right precautions for dog walking safety when out and about in the winter months, and have fun!