Can I walk my dog in the snow? | The Sun

ARCTIC conditions have battered the country over the weekend, with many waking to travel chaos and disruption.

With so many people being advised to stay at home, we look at the precautions you should take when exercising your dog in cold conditions.

What can I do to protect my dog on a walk?

Walking your dog in snowy conditions is fine to do but you should be more wary than usual when taking them out.

The snowy surfaces make it far easier for dogs to get lost or disorientated.

Wear the correct footwear yourself as well – it could be equally as slippery for you, so make sure you are properly dressed to avoid taking a tumble.

Remember to take it slowly and don't forget to 'walk like a penguin'.


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All you need to know about walking your dog in the cold

Always keep an eye on your pet, if you see them struggling in the cold weather, head home as soon as possible.

What are the dangers of walking my dog in the snow?

Aside from the obvious dangers of slipping and falling, snow presents a number of other risks.

Snow can often be treated with chemicals, which can be dangerous for your pup's paws.

Slush and ice in particular is sometimes treated with antifreeze which is hazardous for dogs – so steer clear if you spot that.

In addition, salt grit contains chemicals which can result in burns on pets' paws if they have prolonged contact with the grit.

Try to avoid walking on gritted surfaces with your pooch and rinse their feet when you get home.

Ice balls are also a danger – particularly for dogs with hairy feet.

They can form between your dog's toes and pads of their paws and cause pain.

Checking their feet when you finish your walk can help this issue.

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Do dogs need foot protection in snow?

Footwear can help you keep your dog's paws protected from snow, ice, salt, and ice melt chemicals. 

Always make sure any footwear is comfortable for your pet as many do not like wearing boots for the winter.

How can I keep my dog safe in the snow?

Here are some top tips from Dogs Trust to keep your dog safe in the snow.

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  • Keep your dog on a lead if it is snowing heavily
    Snow can be unusual and exciting for dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and an ID tag and is microchipped
    It is important to ensure your microchipping database is up to date with your address and contact details.
  • Make sure you wipe your dogs' legs, feet and stomach after a walk
    The grit from the roads and dampness from rain or snow can irritate their skin.
  • Never leave your dog in the car Whether it's a hot or cold day outside, leaving your dog in a car is very dangerous and should never be an option. 
  • Don’t let your dog walk on frozen ponds
    The ice may not be thick enough to take their weight. If your dog does fall through the ice never be tempted to go in after them. If possible, encourage them to swim back to you and call the emergency services.
  • Antifreeze is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs
    Keep it well out of their reach and mop up any spills!
  • Regularly check your dog's leads, collars and harnesses
    Make sure they are all functioning safely and not at risk of wear and tear or damage during winter weather.
    If it's extra cold it can be very difficult to do up lead clips and attach them to collars and harnesses. Wet weather may also make metal clips rust.
  • Safety first Your own safety is important too. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather with a suitable coat and shoes. Make sure you're as visible as your dog is.


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