It’s official, snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain; the gift and the curse of northeast living. What is our biggest winter gripe? The battle of trying to get my dog to go outside in this weather.
While some dogs are stubborn when going out in the cold, it is dangerous, actually, for some dogs to be outside, walking, for a prolonged period of time. So, you ask, “when is it too cold to take my dog for a 20 minute walk in the cold“?
There are many factors that come into play when answering this question.
- How old is your dog – puppies and senior dogs have a harder time in the cold.
- What breed is your dog – a long-haired or dog with an undercoat will do much better than a Dachshund with a short coat and whose body is so close to the ground.
- Does your dog have any health issues? Recently sick? If you pet has diabetes, heart issues or kidney disease, this can compromise a dog’s ability to regulate their body temperature.
- We usually recommend you walk outside with your dog so you can observe your dog.
- Is she shivering?
- Running around all excited and happy and digging and diving into the snow like Karma above?
These signals will let you know how your dog is feeling.
Did you know pets lose most of their body heat from their feet, ears and respiratory tract? The best thing to do is to put a jacket and booties on your poochies! No booties? Use a waxy balm like Musher’s Secret.
Responsible owners know how important it is for dog to get exercise. Dogs that aren’t properly exercised (and we’re talking puppies or anxious, high-stress dogs) many exhibit unacceptable behavior like biting, chewing or misbehaving.
So, when it’s too cold for the pups to go on long walks, do the following:
- Interval walks outside – out for 10 mins., break inside, out for 5 minute walk, back in, out for 4 min walk., back in, 3 min. walk, back in and play).
- Hide treats inside the house to stimulate your dog’s brain.
- Use intellitoys like the Canine Genius or Kongs
- Run up and down the stairs and call your dog. He’ll love it!
- Play hide-and-seek.
Both you and your dog will get exercise and you’ll leave knowing your pup had fun and got all the energy out!