Should you walk your dog in cold weather?

In the UK it gets cold around late October and can last all the way to March. Many people will be deterred walking their dogs if the weather gets too cold and sometimes you can’t blame them, but it’s important to remember that your dog’s need for exercise is important throughout the year. To answer the question ‘Should I walk my dog in cold weather?’ is yes, but not when it’s too cold and not for too long if it’s 0 or below. We’ve also got some tips here to make walking your dog in low temperatures a nice experience for both.

With very windy and cold weather we always recommend getting a warm waterproof coat like the below for dogs with thinner coats and without as much blubber around like our Jug! Don’t forget to wrap yourself up too with one of our recommended dog walking coats, boots and gloves.

Ancol Muddy Paws Quilted Dog Coat Black, Size Medium (40 cm Length/ 52-64 cm Girth Approx)
830 Reviews
Ancol Muddy Paws Quilted Dog Coat Black, Size Medium (40 cm Length/ 52-64 cm Girth Approx)
  • A beautifully tailored coat with diamond stitching and handy lead slot

They need exercise

Snowy Dog

The most important thing here is to remember that exercise for dogs is important throughout the year, prolonged time without being outside and social interaction with other dogs can have an adverse effect on their health. Try to read this article as a guide on how to get them walking in the winter rather than reasons to avoid it. We do not recommend avoiding it unless it’s extremely cold and dangerous out there.

Some dogs can handle it better than others

Some dogs can handle cold weather better than others. Think big dogs with thick fur and that are stocky. Does your dog have the natural tools to handle the cold? If you have a skinny breed like a Chihuahua then it may be better to stay indoors or keeping the dog wrapped up in a good coat for shorter periods and put on a dog tracker in case they get lost. If you are blessed with a husky or a long haired breed then it may well be business as usual for them.

However, if you have an elderly/puppy dog or one that is ill then sometimes avoiding the cold may not be the worst idea.

Wrap up warm

As mentioned above, make sure that both you and your pooch are wrapped up warm with a good quality dog coat to  keep the heat in, we recommend pairing the dog coat with a good harness underneath. For yourself, you can get a nice hat, coat and gloves. Pro tip for the gloves: get some which have some grip on the fingers to keep a hold of the lead without slipping if they pull away suddenly.

Make the walk exciting

Dog running in winter

Movement generates heat and that will warm up your pooch nice and quick. If it’s safe to do so, why not let them off the lead and play some fetch or even have a run instead of a walk?

Take care of their paws

Winter brings harsh chemicals and materials on the pavements and roads – salt grit, snow, ice, de-icer. This stuff is no good on your dog’s paws and can really cause some irritation by drying the paws out, cause a stinging sensation and if they have a cut already on their paws it can be really painful. Our first tip is, of course, avoiding the nasty stuff, the second tip is to give their paws a clean after a wintery walk.

Dog Paw Cleaner Pet Washer Cleaning Brush Portable Dog Foot Cup Perfect For Dirty And Muddy Paws (Medium, Blue)
16 Reviews
Dog Paw Cleaner Pet Washer Cleaning Brush Portable Dog Foot Cup Perfect For Dirty And Muddy Paws (Medium, Blue)
  • 【HIGH QUALITY METERIAL】:Foot washing cup is made from gentle silicone bristles which will help remove dirt and mud from your dog's paw cleans off mud, sand, dirt, ice melt &Prevents paw irritation due to salt or other contaminants in the environment.

Stay in if it’s just too cold

If the temperature is in the zero or below, sometimes it may just be better to stay indoors. Consider exercising them in doors with some play time or let them get some time with their favourite toys.

Here’s a handy infographic we’ve found which may explain things a bit better.

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Last update on 2021-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4 thoughts on “Should you walk your dog in cold weather?”

  1. little poochie

    hey great article, thanks for the tips

  2. The Jug Dog

    Thanks very much little poochie!

  3. Dashin' Dogs

    Great Post, Some really good tips. Check out this paw butter if your dog has got dry or cracked paws after the cold weather, its amazing.

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