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Wellness Wednesdays are here! Receive a free heartworm test or free feline leukemia test + a $25 credit for a future exam (up to $100 total value) when you bring your pet in for a wellness exam on Wednesdays in February!

How to Walk Your Dog in the Cold

It’s easy to feel excited about getting outside in spring and early summer as the weather turns warm. But many of us tend to hibernate a bit once the weather cools. While that’s perfectly understandable, it’s still very important to head outside to get regular exercise with your dog.

The key to enjoying walking your dog as the weather becomes less ideal is to prepare in advance. These tips will help you make the most of your walks and to stay active throughout the year.

Plan in Advance

There are several things you can do to plan your walks ahead of time. You can check the weather for days that look best for walking. Even if the weather looks like it will be wet or cool, you can bring an umbrella, wear layers, and even give your dog a sweater too. Of course, always have poop bags on hand when walking your dog.

Choose Your Route

Decide in advance where you are going to walk so there’s no time wasted when you head out. This is especially helpful if you are trying to squeeze in a walk during a break in the weather.

Keep It Short

If the weather is particularly disagreeable, take shorter walks. This will reduce your dog’s exposure to the cold and wet, and it will help keep the experience positive. Several short walks each week can add up to a great amount of exercise.

Keep Your Dog Groomed

This might not come to mind as good for walking, but keeping your dog groomed will help with cold weather walks. Excess hair on your dog’s feet and belly can accumulate more debris and water. If there’s snow on the ground, smaller dogs are also more likely to get those pesky snowballs in their fur.

Have a Space to Clean up Afterwards

When you get back from a nice stoll outside, make sure you wipe your dog’s paws. This will help keep your floors clean. It will also give you a chance to check your dog’s feet for any injuries or debris that could cause issues later on.

As always, schedule regular wellness checks for your dog with your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know if there are any health issues to be mindful of when exercising your dog.

Have a great time and enjoy the variety that fall weather has to offer!