Walking Your Dog in Cold Weather

Winter is officially here! If you have a dog, you’ll need to take a few extra precautions with your canine buddy at this time of year. Winter can be dangerous for dogs! Read on as a Bolingbrook, IL vet offers some tips on walking Fido in winter.

Paw Care

Fido’s paw pads are quite delicate, just like the soles of human feet. Your pup can get painful burns and abrasions by running around on snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical-deicing agents. Your canine companion may also not exactly love going bare-pawed in the cold! Get some doggy booties, and see if your pooch likes them. If he doesn’t, use paw balm or wax to protect his furry feet. You may also want to wipe down your pet’s feet with a damp cloth before you bring him inside.

Night Walks

It gets dark quite early in winter, so you’ll likely be taking Fido out at night quite a bit. Keep nighttime walks short and sweet, and stick to well-lit, safe routes. Use a reflective leash and hardness on your canine friend, and wear reflective clothes and shoes yourself. It’s also important to get shoes with good traction. You don’t want to slip and fall if your pup happens to pull his leash while you’re in an icy area!


Avoid taking Fido near potentially-dangerous areas, such as frozen bodies of water or riverbanks. You’ll also want to be particularly careful just after snow has fallen, as fresh snow can hide dangerous objects, such as broken glass.


Fido may be wearing a fur coat, but he’ll still get cold when temperatures drop. If your pet has thin fur, he may need a doggy sweater to keep him warm on frigid days. When shopping for your pooch, be sure to take his measurements with you. (Tip: we recommend texting them to yourself, so you always have them.) Make sure that your furry pal’s clothes fit comfortably, and aren’t tight, restricting, or itchy. Avoid anything with small parts, like buttons, that your dog could try to eat. That said, there’s no reason you can’t have some fun with your canine pal’s wardrobe. Look for cute pieces that fit your pup’s personality.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Bolingbrook, IL pet clinic, for of all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

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