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Walking Your Dog During the Winter Months

Yes, you need to walk your dog all year around. In Northern climates this can be not only dangerous for you, but also for your dog. During the winter you need to take extra steps to insure that your dog will not be injured or put at risk because of the weather conditions and the conditions of the area you walk in.

Running and playing in the snow can be a great source of exercise for your dog but don't ignore the elements. Ice and snow can create very slippery conditions. If your dog slips or falls it could tear ligaments sprain muscles or suffer a puncture wound just like a human would. If you think this might be an issue where you walk or play with your dog, you could purchase nylon or leather boots designed for your dog to help prevent this problem. You may also want to opt to skip the walk or play session until the area has been cleared by work crews. 

Another common problem is snow and ice build up between your dog's toes and pads. This can be very uncomfortable and Ice can actually cut into the pads or the tissue between the toes. 

Salt, sand and chemical ice melting products can also come in contact with the pads and tissue between a dog's toes. Some of these products can cause burning and skin irritation. It can also cause sickness when it becomes ingested by a licking dog. Make sure you carefully clean and dry his feet every time you come in from outside.

During the winter months your dog will burn more calories much faster. This is because he is using calories to keep warm. If your dog spends time outside you may want to consider feeding your dog more food or a food with a higher level of fat content. Before changing your dog's diet, we suggest you consult your Veterinarian.

If your dog has a single coat or short hair you may also want to consider using a doggie coat or a doggie sweater when it goes outside in the cold. The same should also be considered if you have a small or miniature bread dog. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to colder temperatures due to a lack of body mass. The are not able to regulate their body temperature as well as larger dogs.



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