When the weather is right, dog walking is probably the best part of your day, right? But what about when it’s too hot, too cold, raining or snowing? If you’re anything like a lot of pet owners, you probably prefer skipping the walk altogether on such days! As a loving pet parent, though, you know that foregoing a walk really isn’t an option, so we thought we’d share a few expert tips on dog walking in undesirable weather.
Shortening the length of your walk may be okay when it’s storming outside or if temperatures have soared beyond what you and your fur baby can physically endure. Do not, however, forego your walk altogether. It’s important that your dog remain on a consistent daily walking schedule in order to help him remain in good physical health, as well as to help avoid accidents and behavioral issues.
While you should walk your dog at the same times each day, who says that your route can’t be altered slightly? Heavily treelined streets can really make your dog walking duties a bit easier during extremely rainy or hot days. Whether shielding from a downpour or protecting from the hot sun, drive to an area where trees are in abundance if you have to and proceed to walk your dog as you normally would.
Protect your pooch from extremely cold and/or wet conditions by purchasing a doggy raincoat and boots (if your little fashionista will wear them). You may also want to carry an extra drying towel while walking your dog in the rain or snow. The idea here is not only to keep your dog’s fur as dry as possible, but to also help him retain body heat and avoid things like dry, cracked paws.
Whether hot or cold outside, if your fur baby has white fur or fur that is thinning in places, be sure to apply doggy sunscreen before you embark upon your walk! Also, carry clean drinking water for your dog and a few snacks to be offered as comfort food as you two brave the elements together.
If, for whatever reasons, you absolutely cannot tolerate wet weather or extreme temperatures, hire a professional to walk your dog for you. This way, your pooch can remain on a consistent schedule and enjoy the great outdoors without you having to expose yourself to the elements. Professional dog walkers, like those hand selected by Fetch! Pet Care, are not only willing and prepared to go for a walk in any weather, but they’ve pretty much mastered the experience of doing so!
Encourage, but never force your dog to walk in uncomfortable weather. Watch him carefully for signs of things like overheating (usually accompanied by heavy panting and lethargy) or hypothermia (characterized by shivering, shallow breathing and cognitive decline). Always be considerate of your little one’s feelings and if he really doesn’t desire to be outdoors in undesirable weather, immediately take him home, opt for a few indoor exercises and try dog walking again when the weather eases up a bit.