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Walking Your Dog In WInter

December 15, 2021

Does your canine buddy like winter? Or does he give you that reproachful look when he realizes it’s cold out, as if waiting for you to change the weather? No matter what Fido’s weather preferences are, he does need to get outdoors every day. An Oconomowoc, WI vet offers some tips on walking your pup in winter. 

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can all damage your dog’s paws. Paw balm can protect Fido’s delicate paw pads. Some dogs may be more comfortable with booties on, though of course not all pups will go for these. Wipe your dog’s paws down with a damp cloth after his walks. We also recommend getting pet-safe deicing products. 


You’ll be walking your furry friend after dark quite a bit over the next few months. Get a reflective collar or leash for Fido, and wear something that’s visible to drivers. If possible, stick to safe, well-lit paths. If you live in a darker area, get a leash with a flashlight attached to it. Be sure to wear sneakers or boots with good traction. You don’t want to slip and fall if your pooch spots a squirrel and lunges!


Fresh snow can be problematic, as it can hide things like broken glass, wires, and other hazards. Stick to sidewalks and paths where you can see where you’re going. Keep your furry buddy away from frozen bodies of water, steep cliffs, and any other places where there may be other lurking hazards.


Skinny dogs, pups with thin coats, puppies, and senior dogs are especially susceptible to weather extremes. Pay extra attention to your canine pal if he falls into any of those categories. If you’re working on housebreaking little Fido, go for frequent short walks. Of course, some dogs are naturally more cold-tolerant than others. A husky may want to spend hours playing in the snow, and then still only reluctantly come back in. A Chihuahua, on the other hand, may be miserable after only a few minutes in the cold. Keep an eye out for signs that Fido is uncomfortable, such as lifting his paws, shivering, and whining. Your canine companion may also make a beeline for the door—and that warm doggy bed—as soon as he’s finished his business! 

Happy Holidays from Animal Health Center Watertown, your Oconomowoc, WI animal clinic. Call us anytime!