Three tips for walking your dog during the winter

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<p><img src="" alt="Three tips for walking your dog during the winter" /></p><p>Dan Edwards is Pet Supplies Buyer at the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">specialist pet retailer Millbry Hill</a>. Here, he explains how you should alter your dog-walking routine during the colder months, so you and your pooch can still spend plenty of time outdoors in autumn and winter.</p>

Freezing temperatures, rain, and snow can turn your usually pleasant dog walks into a much less enjoyable experience in the wintertime if you aren't prepared. Here are my top tips, which will help to keep your pooch happy and healthy throughout autumn and winter.

Be Seen

With long nights and dark mornings, many of us find we have to walk our dogs in the dark during the winter months. It is important to make sure your dog remains visible in the dark, both for when walking near roads and walking off the lead. An LED collar is a great option, as the bright LED lights will ensure that your dog can be seen, even at a distance. Another option is a light-up dog tag or collar attachment. These can simply be attached to your dog’s usual collar to give greater visibility in the dark. Even if you are not walking at night, with dull weather and poor visibility, hi-vis accessories like reflective dog coats or high visibility harnesses can help ensure your dog stays safe on their walks.

Beat the mud

Winter rain can mean you have to deal with a lot of mud and, even on frosty days, your dog will always be able to find a muddy puddle it can splash through. Investing in a towelling dog bag will help to keep the wet and mud contained, as well as prevent dirty paw prints from entering your home and car after wet winter walks.

Make sure you're both wrapped up

To ensure that you and your pooch enjoy the time you spend outdoors, you should always ensure you're wrapped up for the cold. Wearing plenty of layers is best for warmth, and it's wise to invest in a good quality coat for yourself that will give weatherproof protection. You should buy a coat for your dog, too. There are many different styles and weights available, offering differing levels of warmth.

For thicker coated dogs, a lightweight dog rug can help keep off the wet and mud, without your dog overheating. For finer coated dogs or elderly or less mobile pooches, a heavier weight dog coat may be needed to keep them warm on their walks. For dogs particularly sensitive to the cold you can also purchase dog jumpers that can be worn indoors, or as an additional layer under a normal dog coat when outside.

Even when your dog is dressed for the winter, you should make sure they don't get too cold. If they're visibly shaking and shivering, it's time to take them home.

You'll want to keep your dog happy and healthy during the colder months, and altering your walking routine is a great place to start. Take these tips on board to ensure you and your furry friends can enjoy the time you spend outdoors, whatever the weather.