Should You Walk Your Dog In The Snow?
19.11.20 November 19, 2020 Seasonal

Should You Walk Your Dog In The Snow?

As the colder months of the year draw near, cooler days set in and the chance of seeing snow and ice on roads and pavements becomes increasingly likely. When snow falls, it can feel just that little bit more like Christmas, and while your dog may get in the spirit and feel the urge to jump into mounds of snow, it’s important that you’re aware of the potential dangers. Many dogs require daily walks to alleviate stress, keep them stimulated and reduce feelings of frustration, sadness and boredom. But it can be concerning to continue the daily routine of walking your dog if it’s cold outside and snow is blocking your path. In this blog, we look at the harm snow could cause to your dog, how you can reduce the risks and what you can do to ensure that your furry friend still gets their steps in.   Can Dogs Go Out In The Snow? Dog's can absolutely go out in the snow, it can be fun for them to play in and a lot of dogs love it. Just make sure to properly dry them off after, especially between their paw pads to help keep them as warm as possible   Can You Walk A Dog In Snow? It can be a concern that the weather is simply too cold for your canine and walking them in the snow could lead to them becoming ill. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s too cold for you, it’s certainly too cold for your dog, but it doesn’t mean that doggy walks must be strictly forbidden until the snow melts and normality is resumed. While it’s true that your dog could be negatively affected by cold weather, you should be able to walk them in the snow providing you prepare for the trip out and bear in mind a handful of key considerations. For instance, before taking your dog for a walk in the snow, you should: Microchip your dog - Ensure that your dog is microchipped in case they escape. Although this is always important, it’s even more crucial in colder weather as it can be more dangerous for your dog if they go missing for a long period of time. Prepare their pathway - You can melt ice and snow from your door, driveway and the road outside your home to limit the amount of snow they’re exposed to. However, it’s important that you use a product that is pet-safe and non-toxic. Commercial antifreeze, for example, should be avoided as it is likely to cause your dog harm if they attempt to lick it. Fit them with a warm coat - Some dog owners believe that a harness or collar is enough heat to keep their dog warm throughout a walk. In fact, while they have more natural insulation than humans thanks to their fur coats, they need just as much protection from the cold. Along with their collar and harness, fit them with a dog coat. Offer them water as you would normally - Providing your dog with a coat is a must during colder times of year, but as it can leave them warm, you should also make sure that they don’t dehydrate. A lack of hydration is likely to be the last thing you’d consider when it’s cold, but there’s never a time where your dog won’t need a drink during walks. Continue to pick up poo - Unfortunately, some dog owners may see the piles of snow as an opportunity to avoid picking up dog poo. While picking up poos is admittedly an unpleasant errand, it’s your responsibility to do this and refraining from picking up your dog’s doo-doos is only likely to cause further problems. When wet, dog poo will become more runny, leaving the pavement slippery to pedestrians and other dogs. Limit your dog’s playtime in snow - Allow your dog to play in the snow but limit this time to avoid the cold from setting in and causing harm. It shouldn’t have much of an impact when snow comes into contact with them, but when the snow begins to melt, it can be reminiscent of an ice bath on their skin. Keep them on a lead at all times - Refrain from taking your dog off the lead to prevent any chance of losing them in the snow. As previously stated, a dog can come to more harm if they’re lost in the cold than they might be in warmer periods of the year. Steer clear of frozen water - Don’t let your dog near frozen ponds, puddles, lakes or rivers. Not only could they risk drowning if the ice breaks, but significant contact with cold water could also be harmful to them and their paws. Watch what they eat - Be extra vigilant over what they could be eating. You’d usually check that your dog isn’t eating objects from the floor such as poo and potentially harmful items and substances, but with snow masking these items, it can be easy to miss something. Warm your dog up - Once you return home, wipe away snow and water from your dog’s paws, fur and skin. You should then turn the heating on and wrap them in a blanket to increase their body heat. Then, when they’re warm, remove the blanket to prevent them from overheating. How Cold Is Too Cold To Walk Your Dog? You may be wondering when it's too cold to walk your dog, this will vary from dog to dog depending on their age, breed, size and coat. Our pet experts have written an in depth guide on 'When Is It Too Cold To Walk My Dog', which has everything you need to know about winter dog walks in.   Can Dogs Walk In The Snow Without Shoes In the summer, you need to be careful that the hot pavement doesn’t burn your dog’s paws and cause serious damage. Although this isn’t a problem in the winter, it’s possible that the cold ground could leave their paws sore and at risk of accidents. For instance, exposure to cold surfaces can cause your dog’s paws to become painful, and if snow and ice gets stuck in their paws, it can be even more uncomfortable and harder to remove. Another potential danger to your dog’s paws is the salt. Used to defrost roads and pavements, salt is an effective solution, but if it gets stuck to a dog’s paws, it can cause an unpleasant stinging sensation. Not only that, but if your dog licks up this salt, it could damage their insides. It can be difficult to tell whether or not your dog would benefit from using shoes. If they’re nipping into the garden to answer the call of nature or if you’re taking them for a brief walk and have already checked that the path you’ll be taking is clear, your dog may not need boots.   How Long Can A Dog Walk In The Snow? Working out how long you can walk your dog in the snow is likely to be based on the specific breed of the dog and the temperature outside. Providing the temperature is above freezing, a healthy medium or large dog should be able to walk for up to 30 minutes without experiencing any discomfort. As for smaller dogs, walks at this temperature should be limited to between 15 and 20 minutes. If the temperature is below freezing, it would be advisable to keep your dog inside and only walk them once the temperature rises above zero.

By Zac Girdlestone

Read more

As the colder months of the year draw near, cooler days set in and the chance of seeing snow and ice on roads and pavements becomes increasingly likely. When snow falls, it can feel just that little bit more like Christmas, and while your dog may get in the spirit and feel the urge to jump into mounds of snow, it’s important that you’re aware of the potential dangers.

Many dogs require daily walks to alleviate stress, keep them stimulated and reduce feelings of frustration, sadness and boredom. But it can be concerning to continue the daily routine of walking your dog if it’s cold outside and snow is blocking your path. In this blog, we look at the harm snow could cause to your dog, how you can reduce the risks and what you can do to ensure that your furry friend still gets their steps in.

 

Can Dogs Go Out In The Snow?

Dog's can absolutely go out in the snow, it can be fun for them to play in and a lot of dogs love it. Just make sure to properly dry them off after, especially between their paw pads to help keep them as warm as possible

 

Can You Walk A Dog In Snow?

It can be a concern that the weather is simply too cold for your canine and walking them in the snow could lead to them becoming ill. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s too cold for you, it’s certainly too cold for your dog, but it doesn’t mean that doggy walks must be strictly forbidden until the snow melts and normality is resumed.

While it’s true that your dog could be negatively affected by cold weather, you should be able to walk them in the snow providing you prepare for the trip out and bear in mind a handful of key considerations.

Dog in the snow

For instance, before taking your dog for a walk in the snow, you should:

  • Microchip your dog - Ensure that your dog is microchipped in case they escape. Although this is always important, it’s even more crucial in colder weather as it can be more dangerous for your dog if they go missing for a long period of time.
  • Prepare their pathway - You can melt ice and snow from your door, driveway and the road outside your home to limit the amount of snow they’re exposed to. However, it’s important that you use a product that is pet-safe and non-toxic. Commercial antifreeze, for example, should be avoided as it is likely to cause your dog harm if they attempt to lick it.
  • Fit them with a warm coat - Some dog owners believe that a harness or collar is enough heat to keep their dog warm throughout a walk. In fact, while they have more natural insulation than humans thanks to their fur coats, they need just as much protection from the cold. Along with their collar and harness, fit them with a dog coat.
  • Offer them water as you would normally - Providing your dog with a coat is a must during colder times of year, but as it can leave them warm, you should also make sure that they don’t dehydrate. A lack of hydration is likely to be the last thing you’d consider when it’s cold, but there’s never a time where your dog won’t need a drink during walks.
  • Continue to pick up poo - Unfortunately, some dog owners may see the piles of snow as an opportunity to avoid picking up dog poo. While picking up poos is admittedly an unpleasant errand, it’s your responsibility to do this and refraining from picking up your dog’s doo-doos is only likely to cause further problems. When wet, dog poo will become more runny, leaving the pavement slippery to pedestrians and other dogs.
  • Limit your dog’s playtime in snow - Allow your dog to play in the snow but limit this time to avoid the cold from setting in and causing harm. It shouldn’t have much of an impact when snow comes into contact with them, but when the snow begins to melt, it can be reminiscent of an ice bath on their skin.
  • Keep them on a lead at all times - Refrain from taking your dog off the lead to prevent any chance of losing them in the snow. As previously stated, a dog can come to more harm if they’re lost in the cold than they might be in warmer periods of the year.
  • Steer clear of frozen water - Don’t let your dog near frozen ponds, puddles, lakes or rivers. Not only could they risk drowning if the ice breaks, but significant contact with cold water could also be harmful to them and their paws.
  • Watch what they eat - Be extra vigilant over what they could be eating. You’d usually check that your dog isn’t eating objects from the floor such as poo and potentially harmful items and substances, but with snow masking these items, it can be easy to miss something.
  • Warm your dog up - Once you return home, wipe away snow and water from your dog’s paws, fur and skin. You should then turn the heating on and wrap them in a blanket to increase their body heat. Then, when they’re warm, remove the blanket to prevent them from overheating.

Dog running across a bridge in the snow

How Cold Is Too Cold To Walk Your Dog?

You may be wondering when it's too cold to walk your dog, this will vary from dog to dog depending on their age, breed, size and coat. Our pet experts have written an in depth guide on 'When Is It Too Cold To Walk My Dog', which has everything you need to know about winter dog walks in.

 

Can Dogs Walk In The Snow Without Shoes

In the summer, you need to be careful that the hot pavement doesn’t burn your dog’s paws and cause serious damage. Although this isn’t a problem in the winter, it’s possible that the cold ground could leave their paws sore and at risk of accidents.

For instance, exposure to cold surfaces can cause your dog’s paws to become painful, and if snow and ice gets stuck in their paws, it can be even more uncomfortable and harder to remove.

Another potential danger to your dog’s paws is the salt. Used to defrost roads and pavements, salt is an effective solution, but if it gets stuck to a dog’s paws, it can cause an unpleasant stinging sensation. Not only that, but if your dog licks up this salt, it could damage their insides.

It can be difficult to tell whether or not your dog would benefit from using shoes. If they’re nipping into the garden to answer the call of nature or if you’re taking them for a brief walk and have already checked that the path you’ll be taking is clear, your dog may not need boots.

Dog covered in the snow

 

How Long Can A Dog Walk In The Snow?

Working out how long you can walk your dog in the snow is likely to be based on the specific breed of the dog and the temperature outside.

Providing the temperature is above freezing, a healthy medium or large dog should be able to walk for up to 30 minutes without experiencing any discomfort. As for smaller dogs, walks at this temperature should be limited to between 15 and 20 minutes. If the temperature is below freezing, it would be advisable to keep your dog inside and only walk them once the temperature rises above zero.

Related Products

Related Collections

Next Article
Festive Dressing Up Box - Christmas Clothes For Dogs

Related Articles

  • Do Dogs Get Hayfever?
    13.05.24 May 13, 2024 Health

    Do Dogs Get Hayfever?

    As the seasons change and pollen fills the air, many of us find ourselves battling the dreaded symptoms of hayfever. But what about our furry companions? Can dogs suffer from hayfever too? In this article, our Pet Experts explore the intriguing question: do dogs get hayfever? Can Dogs Get Hayfever? The short answer is yes, dogs can indeed suffer from hayfever, although it's not as common as it is in humans. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to various environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, and even certain foods. Symptoms of Hayfever in Dogs: Identifying hayfever in dogs can be a bit tricky since they can't tell us how they're feeling. However, there are some telltale signs that your furry friend may be suffering from allergies: Itchy skin: One of the most common symptoms of hayfever in dogs is constant scratching or licking of the skin, particularly around the face, paws, and belly. If they have itchy skin it’s worth bathing them in a shampoo designed of sensitive skin, like the PetPlex derma doctor shampoo, especially after any long walks outside in grassy ares to help minimise their symptoms. Watery eyes: If your dog's eyes are red, watery, or swollen, it could be a sign of hayfever. Sneezing and coughing: Just like humans, dogs with hayfever may sneeze or cough frequently, especially after exposure to allergens. Ear infections: Allergies can also contribute to ear infections in dogs, so keep an eye out for excessive ear scratching or head shaking. Runny nose: Nasal discharge or a runny nose is another common symptom of hayfever in dogs. Can Dogs Get Hayfever Tablets? Yes, there are hayfever tablets available for dogs that can help alleviate their symptoms. These tablets typically contain antihistamines, which work by blocking the histamine receptors in your dog's body, reducing the allergic response. However, it's crucial to consult with your vet before giving your dog any medication, as some human antihistamines can be toxic to dogs and it’s crucial to get the right dose for their size. Can Dogs Get Hayfever Eyes? Absolutely! Dogs can experience allergic conjunctivitis, commonly known as hayfever eyes. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching around the eyes, as well as excessive tearing or discharge. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it's essential to consult with your vet to determine the best course of treatment. Conclusion: In conclusion, dogs can indeed suffer from hayfever, experiencing symptoms such as itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from hayfever, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right care and management, you can help keep your canine companion comfortable and allergy-free all year round. Here at Lords & Labradors we pride ourselves on our in-house team of Pet Experts, between them they have years of pet owning experience and are on hand to answer queries about our products and their suitability - chat to them here.

    By Megan Willis

    Read more
  • How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: Expert Tips for Canine Paw Care
    13.05.24 May 13, 2024 Health

    How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: Expert Tips for Canine Paw Care

    As temperatures rise during the scorching summer months, it’s important to keep your dog’s health in mind, including their sensitive paw pads. Dogs can suffer from burned paw pads due to various reasons, including hot pavements, artificial grass, sand, or even chemicals. In this guide, we'll delve into the essential steps on how to treat, care for, and soothe burned dog paws, ensuring your canine companion stays comfortable and healthy throughout the summer. Understanding Burned Dog Paws: Before diving into treatment methods, it's crucial to understand how dogs can end up with burned paws, especially during the summer season. The primary cause of burned paw pads in dogs is walking on hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, sand, artificial grass or metal. These surfaces absorb and retain heat, making them particularly hazardous for your dog's delicate paw pads. Additionally, exposure to chemicals like road salt, lawn fertilisers, or pool additives can also lead to burns on your dog's paws. How to Prevent Burned Dog Paws in Summer: Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog's paws from burns. Vets Now have put together 4 easy steps you can take this summer to protect your dog’s paws: Follow the seven second rule. Place the back of your hand on the pavement or surface you are planning to walk your dog on for seven seconds, if it’s too hot for your hadn’t then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws Keep to natural grass. Artificial grass retains much more heat than natural grass. We recommend opting for shady routes and natural grassy areas when walking your dog to minimise contact with hot surfaces Schedule walks during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid hot surfaces. Protect their paws Invest in booties or paw balm to create a barrier between your dog’s paws and any hot surfaces. How to Treat Burned Dog Paws: If your dog does end up with burned paw pads, prompt treatment is essential to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Follow these steps to care for your dog's burned paws: Assess the Severity: Start by examining your dog's paws to assess the extent of the burns. Minor burns may present as redness or blistering, while more severe burns can cause swelling, raw patches, or even peeling of the skin. Cooling Compress: Apply a cool, damp cloth to your dog's burned paw pads to help reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort. Avoid using ice directly on the paws, as it can cause further damage. Gentle Cleaning: If there are any foreign substances or debris stuck to the burned paw pads, gently clean the area with lukewarm water and mild pet-safe soap. Pat the paws dry with a clean towel afterward. Moisturise: After cleaning and drying your dog's paws, apply a pet-safe moisturising balm or aloe vera gel to promote healing and keep the paw pads hydrated. Avoid products containing harsh chemicals or fragrances, as they may irritate the sensitive skin further. Protective Bandaging: For more severe burns or to prevent your dog from licking or chewing the affected paw pads, consider applying a breathable, non-adhesive bandage. Ensure that the bandage is not too tight and check it regularly for signs of irritation. Rest and Restricted Activity: Encourage your dog to rest and avoid strenuous activity while their paw pads heal. Limit outdoor time, especially during the hottest parts of the day, to prevent further damage. We recommend keeping a first aid kit on hand with the above items in, our Pet Experts particularly love the Charlie The Vet first aid kit as it was designed by vets for pets to give owners the tools and knowledge needed to treat common at-home emergencies. How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: In addition to the above treatment steps, there are several additional methods you can use to soothe your dog's burned paw pads and promote healing: Oatmeal Baths: Prepare a soothing oatmeal bath for your dog by adding finely ground oatmeal to lukewarm water. Soak your dog's paws in the oatmeal solution for 5-10 minutes to relieve itchiness and inflammation. We also recommend keeping an oatmeal paw balm on hand to further reduce the inflammation, we love both the Pet Head Oatmeal Paw Butter and the Bugalugs nose and paw balm - both are super hydrating and kind to sore paws. Epsom Salt Soaks: Epsom salt has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling in burned paw pads. Dissolve Epsom salt in warm water and soak your dog's paws for 10-15 minutes. Natural Remedies: Consider using natural remedies such as calendula cream or coconut oil to soothe and moisturise your dog's burned paw pads. These ingredients have anti-inflammatory and healing properties that can aid in the recovery process. Comfortable Sleeping Area: Ensure that your dog has a comfortable and padded sleeping area to rest their paws while they heal. Avoid hard surfaces or abrasive materials that could further irritate the burned paw pads. Conclusion: Taking proactive measures to prevent burned dog paws and promptly treating any injuries is crucial for maintaining your dog's paw health, especially during the summer months. By following the expert tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your canine companion stays comfortable, happy, and free from paw pad burns all season long. Remember to consult with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's paw injuries or if you notice signs of infection. With proper care and attention, you can keep your dog's paws safe and sound, allowing them to enjoy outdoor adventures without the risk of discomfort or injury.Here at Lords & Labradors we focus on sourcing and making the best quality pet products, including the best grooming and first aid products to help soothe and protect your dog’s paws this summer - shop here.

    By Megan Willis

    Read more
  • Dog Blankets For Winter
    29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Dog

    Dog Blankets For Winter

    As the frosty embrace of winter sets in, prioritising the comfort and well-being of our cherished canine companions becomes paramount. At Lords & Labradors, we understand the unique needs of your furry friends during the colder months. In this expert guide, we will take you on a journey through our curated collection of handmade dog blankets, ensuring your pup stays warm, snug, and stylish throughout the winter season.   The Lords & Labradors Standard: Exceptional Quality and Comfort Before we dive into the specifics of our dog blankets, it's important to highlight our commitment to exceptional quality and canine comfort. Our blankets are not only designed to provide warmth but also crafted with durability, ease of cleaning, and your dog's ultimate comfort in mind. Our blankets are handmade here in our cosy Lincolnshire workshop by our talented seamstresses, so your dog can rest easy knowing they’re sleeping in the best quality snuggliest blankets.   Luxurious Comfort: Faux Fur and Fluffy Dog Blankets Pamper your pup with the pinnacle of luxury through our cream faux fur dog blankets. Beyond providing exceptional warmth, these blankets add a touch of opulence to your dog's resting space, creating a cosy haven during the winter season. They’re made from the snuggliest faux fur and have matching anti-anxiety beds so are the perfect choice for more nervous pups. You can even personalise them with your dog’s name for that extra special touch.   Lords & Labradors Versatility: Dog Blankets for Sofas Got a sofa snoozer? Then you need one of our sofa toppers, they were designed with your dog’s favourite sleep spots in mind. With our own pets we found that we were covering our sofas with blankets to help protect them from. Muddy paws and to give our dogs a cosy spot to sleep on which is why we developed our sofa toppers. They come in our most popular fabrics and have fully removable and washable covers, our sofa toppers sit on top of your sofa and you can even pair them with a matching L&L blanket for the ultimate sleep sanctuary.   Lords & Labradors Core Collection Blankets From stylish Bouclé to classic herringbones or playful spots, our core collection blankets have been designed with both your dog and home in mind. They have our carefully curated fabrics on one side and the cosiest fleece on the other, we just know your dog will love snuggling up in them   Lords and Labradors Christmas Dog Blankets: Celebrate the Season in Style Infuse the holiday spirit into your dog's life with our velvet dog blankets, something about luxurious velvet just feels so Christmassy. Beyond keeping your pet warm, these festive options add a touch of joy to your home during winter festivities, we even have matching stockings which you can personalise with your pets name for that extra special festive touch. At Lords and Labradors, we recognise the importance of investing in a quality winter blanket for your furry friend. Our curated collection, featuring a variety of options, ensures there's a perfect solution for every pup. Elevate your dog's winter experience with the warmth and style of a carefully chosen blanket from Lords & Labradors, providing them with a cosy retreat during the coldest months of the year. Explore our collection today and make this winter your pup's cosiest one yet.

    By Megan Willis

    Read more
  • How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter
    29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat

    How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter

    As the temperatures drop and winter sets in, it's essential to ensure the well-being of our feline friends. Cats, known for their love of warmth and comfort, may need a little extra care to stay cosy during the colder months. In this guide, we'll explore expert tips on creating a warm and inviting environment for your cat, including the use of warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and other effective strategies.   Invest in a Warm Cat Bed One of the key elements in keeping your cat warm during winter is providing a comfortable and insulated sleeping space. Opt for a high-quality warm cat bed designed specifically for colder weather. Look for beds with soft, insulating materials like fleece or plush, and ensure they have a non-slip bottom for added stability. Our cat’s love both high wall beds which they can curl up into the sides of or self heating beds which contain heat-reflective materials or thermal layers that make them exceptionally comfortable, especially during colder months, check out our comprehensive guide to heated cat beds here.   Create a Warm Environment in Cold Rooms If your cat tends to spend time in colder rooms, take measures to make these spaces more comfortable. Consider using draft stoppers on doors and windows, and use heavy curtains to trap warmth inside. Additionally, you can place a warm cat bed or cat warming mat in these areas to encourage your feline friend to stay warm. The snuggle safe heat pads are a great way to safely heat your cat’s favourite bed or snooze spot.     Keep Your Cat Indoors During Extreme Cold In particularly harsh winter conditions, it's best to keep your cat indoors. Cold temperatures, snow, and icy conditions can pose risks to your cat's health and safety. Create a warm and cosy indoor space with access to sunny spots for your cat to bask in natural warmth.   Dress Your Cat Appropriately For some cats, wearing a cosy sweater or jacket can be a fashionable and functional solution to staying warm. However, not all cats appreciate clothing, so it's essential to gauge your cat's comfort level. If your cat tolerates it, a well-fitted sweater can provide an extra layer of insulation.   Keeping your cat warm in winter is a crucial aspect of responsible pet care. By investing in warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and implementing other strategies to create a cosy environment, you can ensure that your feline companion stays comfortable and content during the colder months. Remember to monitor your cat's behaviour and adjust their surroundings as needed to accommodate their individual preferences and needs.

    By Megan Willis

    Read more