dog walk winter

5 tips for keeping your dog safe and warm on winter walks

Dogs need to be walked every daily, no matter what the weather. Here are five tips for keeping your pooch safe and warm on winter walks.


Know what temperatures your dog can handle.

Generally, larger dogs with thick coats do better in cold weather than smaller breeds or those with short or thin fur. However, there may be other considerations. For example, older dogs or those with arthritis may not be able to tolerate the cold as well as others of the same breed.


If your dog shivers, lifts its paws while walking or generally looks cold and miserable, it may need a winter coat to protect it from the snow and wind.


  • Take shorter walks. If your dog doesn’t like the cold or if the temperature drops below -20 C, shorter walks may be necessary. Consider playing indoor games to burn off your pup’s extra energy and make sure it gets enough exercise.


  • Protect your dog’s paws. Snow and ice can get stuck between your canine’s toes and create painful balls that are hard to remove. Plus, salt and other de-icers can burn your dog’s feet or make them ill if they happen to lick their paws.


To prevent this, make sure you regularly check your dog’s paws and wipe them with a clean, damp cloth after every walk. You should also keep the fur between the toes clipped short to prevent matting. Additionally, consider getting dog boots, which will provide extra protection and warmth.


  • Keep your dog on its leash. Icy road conditions can make it difficult for drivers to stop quickly. Protect your pooch by keeping it on a short leash. In poor weather, it can mean the difference between life and death


  • Be visible. Thanks to the reduced amount of sunlight in winter, you may not be able to walk your dog while the sun’s still up. If you walk your dog while it’s dark outside, make sure you’re both visible to oncoming traffic. Reflective strips on your coat or a light-up leash and collar will make sure drivers know you’re sharing the road with them.


Pet care in the GTA

For more advice on keeping your pet safe during the winter, talk to the professionals at Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital. We offer microchip and vaccination services as well as surgery care to pets all across the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us today to make an appointment.