SNOW can often be problematic and cause widespread travel disruption, meaning people often choose not to leave their homes during periods of icy weather. But if you're a dog owner, can you still walk your dogs in the snow?
TikTok user's dog reacts hilariously to squirrel on the TVDogs find nothing more exciting than a ‘walkies’ with their owner. But during periods of heavy snowfall, many dog owners may wonder how they can keep their dogs safe in the cold weather.Express.co.ukspoke to dog experts and vets about how owners can keep their pooches happy in the snow .
Can you walk dogs in the snow?
Even when it is snowing, it is important dogs are still taken out for walks for exercise.
But in the cold weather, dog owners should take extra steps to make sure their beloved four-legged friends are safe and protected.
Regarding the topic of walking dogs in the winter, Dr. Karlien Heyrman, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, said dog owners can still make walks fun “by preparing in advance”.Dr Heyrman said: “Dogs need to be walked regardless of the weather or whether it’s dark outside, but winter walks can still be made enjoyable by preparing in advance.
8 tips to make your dog happy
“I’d highly recommend reflective gear to make walking in the dark as safe as possible and a self-heated bed is the perfect way to warm them up afterwards.”READ MORE: Eamonn Holmes 'best diet ever' claim after surprise help from dog
Can you walk dogs in the snow? Does snow hurt dogs paws? (Image: GETTY) Sign up for FREE for latest news plus tips to save money and the environment Invalid emailWe will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.Can you walk dogs in the snow? Dog owners should take extra care when walking their dogs in the snow (Image: GETTY)
If you have a small dog, cutting up a lamb roll into tiny pieces is a cost-effective way to make healthy, bite-sized training treats. A 1-pound roll costs $6.98. Cut it up into the desired size, store most of it in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and leave the rest on the counter for immediate use.
- Monty Don bewildered over tribute to late dog Nigel: 'It's so cheap'
To protect dogs from the cold, dog owners may consider a suitable dog coat when taking their pet out and about.Anna Webb, a behaviour and nutrition expert, told Express.co.uk: “Most dogs love the snow and it excites them to bound and play.
“Plus all the scents and smells are frozen, taking on dizzying heights for their super olfaction.
“But just as we can slip and slide in the snow, dogs can pull a tendon or ligament.
“As older dogs arthritic symptoms’ can be exacerbated by the cold, it’s advisable to keep their walks short.
“Wearing an extra layer- a practical warm and waterproof dog coat - is recommended for short haired dogs, enabling them to stay out for longer.”Can you walk dogs in the snow? Dogs still need to be taken for walks during spells of cold weather (Image: GETTY)Can you walk dogs in the snow? Some dogs may need a coat when walking in the snow (Image: GETTY)PDSA Vet Anna Ewers Clark told Express.co.uk: “Even in the cold weather, dogs still need daily walks to keep them happy and healthy and most dogs will cope well, and may even enjoy the cold.
Get Educated. The first step to being an outstanding pet owner, according to Dr. Becker, is taking responsibility. “Nobody ever says ‘I was a lousy pet owner.’ It’s always the pet’s fault.” Learn the peculiarities of your pet’s breed such as how much exercise they need, how gregarious they are, how much maintenance their coat requires, how often they need to go outside, and about new technologies, products, and nutrition that might help you care for your pet. Knowing the basics about your pet’s upkeep ensures you won’t be caught off guard by troubling behavior.
"When temperatures plunge, keep these excursions short and frequent, rather than longer periods outdoors.
"With lockdown restrictions, you might want to consider different family members within your household going out at different times, so your dog can go on a couple of short walks or having a little walk in the morning and then play time in the garden in the afternoon.
"However, avoid forcing your pet to go outside if they really don’t want to. A suitable waterproof coat can help keep dogs dry, and they’re especially good for pets that are very young or old, are sick, or have very thin fur.
"If it’s slippery or wet be extra careful with dogs that might be more likely to trip or fall, for example older dogs or those with arthritis."DON'T MISS: Monty Don: What has happened to Monty Don's dog Nigel? [INSIGHT]Ruth Langsford slams Eamonn Holmes' video after 'lovely woman' remark [VIDEO]Pets could ‘write off’ hundreds of insurance policies [ANALSIS]Can you walk dogs in the snow? It's important to look after a dog's paws during periods of cold weather (Image: GETTY)
- Monty Don inundated with support after loss as he marks milestone
Does snow hurt dogs paws?
While taking your dog out in the snow and afterwards, it's important to pay extra attention to your pooch’s paws.
Cold weather, snow and ice can cause irritation to dog’s paws, and ice can form between the pads and toes.
best dog food
So giving a dog’s paws a warm wash and dry after a walk in the cold can help to keep paws healthy.PDSA vet Anne Ewers Clark added: "Check your dog’s paws regularly and clean any build-up of salt, grit, dirt or snow from them, as this can be painful.
"After their walkies, towel-dry them straight away if they get wet, to help keep them warm and make sure you rinse off their paws.
"If you spot your pet shivering or they seem to be struggling with the cold, bring them into the warmth straight away. Hypothermia can develop quickly and can be fatal if not treated.”Can you walk dogs in the snow? Washing and drying a dog's paws is a good idea after a walk in the snow (Image: GETTY)
Dog owners should also be aware of other hazards during snow periods, such as grit.
Pooch & Mutt Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. Linda Simon, toldExpress.co.uk: "During cold and icy weather, watch out for the grit put down by the council.
But the people at Bark know well that the photogenic often get a head start: most of the dogs in the emails are looking for new homes after a harsh beginning.‘He remembers who has paid particular attention to him in the past and will make sure to greet them with gladness in his heart’: Simon with his dog, Ludo.
“Grit can become caked onto dog's paws and bellies and can cause a good degree of irritation and even skin ulcers.
“You may find they lick their paws incessantly after being outside.
“After walking in areas that have been gritted, make sure to bathe your dog with warm, soapy water to remove any debris."Antifreeze is also a hazard to dogs during periods of cold weather.Ms Webb added: “Being aware of products like antifreeze on urban pavements and salt/grit is important as it’s toxic to dogs.
Many dogs have a condition nicknamed “Frito Feet,” in which their feet smell little bit like corn chips. As Matt Soniak wrote in a Big Question on this site, this has to do with the kind of bacteria found on a pup’s feet, and “could be due to yeast or Proteus bacteria. Both are known for their sweet, corn tortilla–like smell. Or it could be Pseudomonas bacteria, which smell a little fruitier—but pretty close to popcorn to most noses.”
“It also burns their paw pads, so bathing your dog’s paws post walk, gently drying them, eliminates any worries”.