Walking Your Dog in Winter

Does your canine buddy like the cold? Or is Fido more of a warm-weather pup? No matter what your dog thinks of winter, it can be a dangerous season for Man’s Best Friend. You may want to take some precautions when walking your pup in cold weather. Read on as a Bowmanville, ON vet discusses walking your dog in winter.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all do a number on your dog’s paws. If your furry pal won’t go for wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his feet. Also, be sure to keep your canine friend’s nails and toe fur trimmed.

Night Walks

It gets dark early in winter, so you’ll probably be walking your pooch after dark quite a bit. We recommend using reflective gear. Take a flashlight with you, and stick to brightly-lit, well-known paths. If you are walking on the side of a road, keep Fido to the outside: he’s shorter, and will be harder for drivers to see.


Weather is one of the biggest dangers in winter. Of course, if you have a husky, your furry buddy may be delighted to go for a long walk on a frigid day. However, most dogs don’t enjoy being out in cold weather any more than we do. Always keep Fido’s comfort in mind: limit his outdoor time on cold days, and never leave him outdoors for longer than he is comfortable.


Always keep an eye on the ground when walking Fido, and watch for dangerous objects, like broken glass. This is especially important after a snowstorm, as fresh snow can hide hazardous objects. You’ll also want to stay away from riverbanks, frozen bodies of water, and other unsafe areas.


Some dogs may need some extra protection from the cold. If your pet has thin fur, he may need to wear doggy clothes in frigid weather. When shopping for Fido, make sure to bring his measurements with you. (Tip: texting them to yourself is an easy way to do this.) Avoid putting your pooch in anything tight, hot, constricting, or itchy. You also want to avoid items with zippers; dangling threads; or small parts, such as buttons. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Bowmanville, ON pet hospital!

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