As much as we’d like to stay snuggled up under the covers, you still have to walk Fido. From light up collars to brighten your dreary winter path to an AirTag dog collar case, we have all the suggestions you’ll need to make winter dog walking a bit easier. Here’s our list of 10 winter dog walking hacks that will make walking your best furry friend a little easier even when it’s -5℉ outside.
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- AirTag Dog Collar Case — According to PetMD, dogs need at least 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. While playing with your dog for that crucial half-hour every day isn’t realistic for most pet owners, it’s still necessary to walk your dog daily. Get in your dog’s daily exercise by walking your dog for at least 20-30 minutes as long as the winter weather is bearable for both of you. It’s easy to accidentally lose your pup with or without a leash, even during the best of conditions. Imagine losing your dog when it’s a slushy, snowy day outside and you’re trying to run after them with slick ice on the ground. Ensure you get them an AirTag dog collar case as the perfect and easy way to keep tabs on your furry best friend.
- Light Up Collar — Having a light up LED dog collar will help you and other people spot your dog in the middle of the night. If it’s a dreary or foggy winter day, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your dog is easy to find in the dark. To withstand the elements for more than one season, get a collar that’s made of durable materials. These collars can have optional flashing settings or color-changing options depending on how eye-catching of a glow you’d like for your pup. They’re normally rechargeable with a battery life of at least five hours or more. Make sure the collar is clean and dry before you go to charge it.
- Reflective Clothing — In addition to a light up collar, also consider light up clothing such as a vest for your dog. That will keep you and your dog safe. Try a high-visibility dog vest in bright orange. Besides wearing reflective clothing during winter, they’re also popular during other seasons, especially if you’re doing outdoor activities like going on a hike. If you’re in an area where there are active hunters, having a reflective vest can help prevent tragic accidents. During winter days with low visibility, a vest made with reflective material strips can reflect car headlights once it’s dark outside.
- Use a Leash — Even if you normally walk with your dog without a leash, consider walking your dog with a leash during winter. It’s easy for your dog to get distracted, and it’s harder to go after or keep track of your dog during inclement weather. Like the reflective collar and clothing, consider getting a light up leash as well. An LED light up leash or harness will make sure your dog is well lit up for all to see. Combine the light up leash with the reflective vest and light up collar. Besides being safer during your winter walk, seeing your dog all lit up will surely brighten your day in more ways than one!
- Clean Their Paws — There are all kinds of nasty chemicals like ice melt and rock salt out there when you’re walking your dog during the winter. Even during the best of weather conditions, your dog is still getting their paws dirty from their walk. To keep them and your home clean and free from bacteria, make sure you also frequently clean your dog’s paws after they walk. In the same way you should wash your hands when you get home after being outside or running errands, you’ll want to clean your dog’s paws with a washcloth and water or moist wipes that are safe for dogs.
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- Paw Cream — Use a petroleum jelly-based product or paw balm to moisturize your dog’s paws. If your hands are getting dry during winter, your dog’s paws are also getting dry. If you’re cleaning their paws, their paws are going to get drier even quicker. In addition to using the paw cream after their walk, you should also put on paw cream before they walk. Having that balmy barrier on their paws helps prevent salt and ice from getting between their toes.
- Bathing Your Dog — If you normally bathe your dog outside, don’t do that during winter. Take your dog for a walk to empty their bladder before bathing them to prevent any indoor accidents. After you shampoo and wash them, use a lightweight dog towel to make sure your dog is nice and dry to reduce any risk of hypothermia.
- Traveling with Your Dog — If you plan on going on a winter hike or snowy adventure in the car with Fido, you’ll want to make sure you have winter gear packed for the road. That includes boots and jackets for you both. Pack a collapsible dog bowl and extra water in bottles so you both can stay hydrated. There are plenty of dog-friendly winter activities you two can enjoy, such as walking through outdoor winter villages or skijoring.
- Feeding Your Dog — According to PetMD, dogs that are exposed to low temperatures need two to three times as many calories as they normally do when exposed to moderate temperatures. Consider giving your dog more food like additional protein to make sure they’re getting enough calories during their chilly winter walks.
- Your Own Winter Gear — You may have been so focused on getting gear for your dog that you forgot about making sure that you as a pet owner are bundled up for your own comfort and safety as well. Make sure you’re layered up with an inner, mid and outer layer along with winter accessories such as gloves, scarves, hats and winter boots that are made for all kinds of winter conditions, from icy hail to slushy snow. If you like to listen to music while you’re walking your dog or taking calls on the go on your Apple Watch, make sure you also get some Apple Watch bands for style, flair and protection.
Even when Mother Nature is at her worst, we hope that you’ll feel confident with all of these winter dog walking hacks in mind the next time you go outside with your furry companion.
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