If your dog gets excited by the sight of his or her leash — even in the middle of winter — you might be looking for alternative ways to get in its daily walk.
Whether that’s because cold weather can pose serious threats to your pet’s health, or simply because it is just too cold to fully enjoy a walk with your furry friend, the cold weather may discourage you from picking up a leash.
To escape the cold when walking your dog, you might consider walking through businesses that allow pets inside.
Whether your dog wants to walk the aisles of pet stores like PetSmart or Petco, or walk laps around the perimeter of Lowe’s, your dog can walk through several shops that allow well-behaved and leashed pets through their doors.
If walking indoors is just not enough for you or your dog, Cimarron Animal Hospital in Wichita recommends shortening outdoor walks when it is cold outside.
However, even a short walk in freezing temperatures can injure your pet, including cracked paw pads that may begin bleeding.
“During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes,” the American Veterinary Medical Association said.
While on walks outside, a dog’s feet, legs, and belly may also pick up deicers, antifreeze or other toxic chemicals, so the association recommends wiping down your pet when you get back inside — and before your furry friend begins licking his or her feet and fur.
You can also have your pets wear booties to protect their paws, in addition to a sweater or coat if your dog has short fur or is bothered by cold weather.
While walking outside, the association also advises that you avoid frozen water, as it may not be strong enough to support your dog’s weight.
“If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia,” the association said.