How To Keep Your Dog Safe & Warm On Winter Walks
With the temperature dropping and the weather worsening, you need to be sure your furry friend is comfortable, safe, and stays warm when you take them out for walks. Below we outline the gear you need and how to keep your pet happy in the cold outdoors.
How to tell if your dog is cold
Some breeds cope better than others in winter and it’s very important to make sure your dog doesn’t get too cold. Smaller breeds like Pugs and Chihuahuas will struggle to keep warm at cooler temperatures, but even larger breeds used to cold climates, like Siberian Husky’s and Saint Bernard’s, you should still be aware of the signs that they are getting too cold.
- Trembling or shivering
- Very cold ears
- Hunched back and tucked in tail
- Anxious behaviour and unwillingness to continue walking
- Limp or stiff movement
- Lifting paws off the ground
The right gear and equipment
The best way to keep dogs warm and dry in winter is using the right gear.
All Weather Vests
Even breeds with thick coats need will a good quality jacket to ensure they don’t lose too much heat. Look for vests which provide thermal insulation and are a tight fit. Any good quality dog jacket will also offer protection from the wind and rain, so buy a vest which is made from material suitable for all weathers.
JULIUS-K9®’S official IDC® Neoprene Dog Jackets is made from soft and elastic neoprene material which is designed to provide a snug fit for maximum thermal insulation and wind protection. The material is highly effective at keeping dogs warm and dry while also being comfortable to wear over long periods. It also has a reflective edging for improved visibility in low light conditions.
Protecting your dog’s paw pads is important in hot weather as well as cold. A good pair of dog boots will help keep paws dry and insulated. Wiping away grim and grit from your dog’s feet is always important after a walk and a pair of good paw protectors reduces the clean-up.
Even if you keep off the mud and stick to street walking routes, paving slabs can still be very uncomfortably cold for your dog. Pavements may also be salted and gritted in winter. This can get between toes , matted in fur, and cause general discomfort if not cleaned away properly – which is another reason you might want to opt for dog footwear.
Rukka Protective Proof dog footwear offers complete protection for dogs thanks to splash-resistant material. They are fleece lined for extra warmth and have durable grooved rubber soles. They are available in a long boot or a shorter shoe version for pups with smaller legs.
Kitting your dog out with high-visibility equipment is highly advisable for any after dark walk. Having neon and reflective dog gear like leads, collars and harnesses is the simplest way to stay visible at night. You should also consider attaching a safety light for maximum visibility at road crossings.
Here at JULIUS-K9®’S we have a wide of official hi-vis dog accessories designed to keep you and your dog safe at night.
For more information about staying seen and safe at night, read our Night Time Dog Walking Safety Gear article.
Towels and car mats
As soon as you get back from your walk you should dry off your dog with a clean towel. For the same reason you should keep some towels in your car so you get your dog warm and dry as soon as the walk is over.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a good quality car mat. This will help protect your upholstery from damp and mud, but also be more comfortable for your dog.
As well as using the right gear, managing your dog’s coat is just as important. If you are not using protective footwear, you should look to trim back extra long fur between their paw pads as frozen mud and ice-balls can build up which cause great discomfort. Also in the coldest months then you should avoid cutting your dog’s coat too short.