As the temperature drops, and the likelihood of snow is…well likely, here are some things to be aware of to make sure you and your beloved companion enjoy this time as much as possible.
1) Frostbite and hypothermia is not just a human condition our playful pups also need to be protected. Short hair dogs, will probably need a coat, along with older dogs or puppies, and those not at full fitness. A lovely article on dogs and how cold is too cold is here.
2) Snow can build up between furry toes (the dogs not ours ;)) so keep checking them and consider booties for delicate paws, and soothing balms for damaged pads or noses.
3) Walking or running through snow provides more of a challenge, which is great exercise for us and our beloved companions, be careful on ice as just like us hounds can slip and fall or pull a muscle.
4) Play hide and seek in the snow, hide a treat or favourite toy and let them search it out.
5) Watch out for salts and chemicals used to melt the ice or snow.
6) Play dog Tag, you’ll both keep warm, tag your pup then let them chase you, refer back to point 3) though, go careful!
7) Avoid areas with frozen bodies of water, the risk of falling through is a scary thought for your precious little one.
8) Using a lead that attaches to a waist belt, is a fun way to take your dog out and jog with them if your dog needs to be kept on a lead (plus you can keep your hands in your pockets!) You should use a harness to attach the lead to rather than their collar, as it will prevent damage to their necks. Canicross (running events for human & hound) insists on harnesses if you’re thinking of entering a race, a lot of ‘park runs’ now also allow you to enter with your dog, which is something may want to try.