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Wintertime Dog Walking Tips

Winter is well on the way! If you have a dog, you may need to make some minor changes to your canine buddy’s walking routine during the colder months. Here, a Coon Rapids, MN vet discusses walking Fido in winter.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and chemical deicers can all hurt Fido’s delicate paws. Buy or make your furry pal some booties to wear. If your pooch doesn’t like shoes, use paw balm to protect his paw pads, and wipe his feet off with a damp cloth when you bring him inside.

Grooming

Did you know that dead fur, dirt, and dander can all reduce the insulating properties of Fido’s fur? Brushing your regularly will not only keep him looking shiny and adorable, it will also help keep him more comfortable in cold weather.

Doggy Clothing

Your four-legged friend may need some extra protection against freezing wind and rain, especially if he has thin fur. When you buy Fido’s clothes, look for things that don’t have zippers, buttons, or dangling parts. Also, make sure your pup’s clothes fit him well, and aren’t itchy or constricting.

Gear

Always wear boots or shoes that provide good traction. This is especially crucial if your canine friend tends to lunge. If your shoes don’t have good treads, you could slip and fall if Fido pulls you. Also, choose gloves that allow you to get a good grip on your dog’s leash.

Exercise

As the temperatures drop, you may find yourself shortening your pup’s walks a bit. Don’t let your pooch become a furry couch potato! Keep Fido in shape by exercising him indoors. Your four-legged pal’s activity needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health, so ask your vet for specific advice.

Hazards

Winter presents some very specific hazards to dogs. Don’t let your pooch run into snowdrifts: you don’t know what the snow could be hiding. Keep Fido away from metal objects: there is a chance that they could be connected to electrical wires that have gotten wet. Antifreeze spills are another serious concern. Also, be careful when walking your pup on snowy sidewalks, as fresh snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass. Ask your vet for more information.

Does your dog need veterinary care? Please feel free to contact us anytime. As your local Coon Rapids, MN pet hospital, we are always here to help!

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