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Walking dogs in cold weather - Julie Harris

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 10:38 AM

Walking your dog in winter, when is it too cold?

Things to take into consideration when walking your dog in winter

Do they suffer from any physical conditions that the cold may aggravate for example, arthritis, hip dysplasia; dogs with this type of condition should be exercised with due consideration. 

Take into account “wind chill factor” which significantly drops the temperature further, and a dog coat may be needed. 

Remember that puppies and elderly dogs are much more sensitive to the cold as their bodies take longer to regulate their temperature 

Some breeds are ideally suited to the colder conditions and have thick undercoats making them much more tolerant, dogs like Pyrenean mountain dogs, Spitz breeds and heavily coated crossbreeds are ideally protected from the elements. Other breeds with shorter thinner coats like the Greyhound or small dogs close to the ground will need protection against the cold in the shape of a jacket or coat. 

When out walking, look for signs that your dog is uncomfortable are they shivering, standing with a hunched back, unusual vocalising, have they become lethargic? Any of these signs should be acted upon and your dog should be brought into the warmth, dogs can suffer from Hypothermia and unprotected extremes such as tails, paws and ears are very vulnerable. 

Dogs do require regular exercise and an opportunity to relieve themselves, during extreme conditions a quick toilet break and lots of games indoors, hunt the biscuit! Maybe much more appreciated by you both. The aim is to keep mind and body active. 

Always remove any clothing that might restrict the dog once inside. They can also get too warm and if you have a hair bearing dog like a Poodle or Bichon, the hair can easily Matt so give them a quick brush through once removed. 


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