10 top tips for dog exercise in winter

Don’t let the weather put you off. The dark mornings and evenings can put you off getting out and about but think of your dog, they need their daily walk. Try not to lose the routine they have because of the weather.

Here are 10 top tips when exercising your dog in the winter:

  1. When walking your dog in the dark ensure you use reflective wear or clip-on LED collar lights.
  2. Protecting dog paws in winter – remember to clean your dog’s paws with a warm wet cloth when you return home to remove any salt or grit. If not washed this can easily cause irritation and pain as it encourages the paw to dry out and ultimately crack. Also wipe down their legs and belly too.
  3. Try to you walk your usual route so not to confuse your dog.
  4. Make sure you wrap up, take a phone and a torch in case of an emergency.
  5. Indoor games are great if the weather isn’t very good. Dog toys are great to hide and get the dog to seek. See Dog exercise and play for more ideas.
  6. Dog Agility classes. There are great indoor dog agility classes that you can go to and burn some of that energy off, why not give it a go.
  7. Tricks and Training. There is always time to top up with dog training or use this time to teach them something new. Remember, Repeat, Reward and Reinforce, see Dog Training for new tips and tricks.
  8. Exercise more at the weekend. While regular exercise is best, if it’s too dark to go out at night try to walk them a bit further at the weekend.
  9. Joint Care, if your dog suffers from arthritis please take the cold into consideration as the cold can aggravate the joints. Speak to your vets for advice during the winter period.
  10. Frozen lakes and ponds. Some winter days can be freezing and dogs love jumping into dirty, muddy water. Please take extra care and when you can, deter them from jumping into water as this can cause hypothermia.

Last tip…… dogs body temperature is slightly warmer than ours, so next time you are cold instead of grabbing your blanket cuddle up to your dog.