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7 Things You Should Do To Prepare Your Dog For Cold Weather Walks

Winter Walking

You’ve hooked your dogs up to their leashes, opened the door, and are faced with a wall of snow. How can you steel yourself and your dogs for the inevitable trek through the tundra? To keep your pups safe and happy, Doggy Detail has some tips on how you can best prepare for a winter walk.

  1. Dress your dog in a coat.

While dogs do grow a winter coat, not every dog is prepared for low temperatures. Putting a coat or sweater on your dog can help keep them warm and safe during short jaunts in cold weather. 

  1. Take care of their paws.

Keep in mind that your furry friend’s feet aren’t wrapped in layers of warmth like your boots. To protect their paws, see if they will wear booties in the snow. If not, at least trim the fur on their paws, as this fur can become wet and freeze, causing extreme discomfort.

  1. Extra layers mean extra hydration.

When you dress your dog in extra layers, it will also need more hydration. Give your dog extra water after a jaunt in the cold so they don’t suffer dehydration. To cool down, dogs pant to evaporate moisture from their tongues and nasal passages. This means they will need extra water if they are panting more.

  1. Give them more bedding.

During the winter, don’t you love to cozy up in a pile of blankets? Extend the same comforts to your companion so they can also feel warm and soft. You can either give them a more padded bed, some extra blankets, or even some pillows.

  1. Dry their ears.

To prevent ear infections, make sure your dog’s ears are dry after they’ve played or walked in the snow. This prevents moisture from building up inside their ears, which, if left untouched, can become a breeding ground for many types of germs.

  1. Avoid salt and chemical de-icers.

While we may be grateful for salted sidewalks preventing slippery conditions, the type of salt or even chemical de-icers can be very harmful to dogs’ paws. If you can, try to avoid walking through spots that have clearly been de-iced. If these chemicals get on your dog’s paws, be sure to clean them thoroughly once the walk is over. If ingested, these chemicals can make your dog very sick. They can also feel uncomfortable on their paws.

  1. Groom your dog.

In general, washing, brushing, and grooming your pup is good practice, especially in the wintertime. Grooming can remove old, loose fur and make space for a healthier winter coat to grow in. Matted fur takes longer to dry after walks and doesn’t insulate your pooch as well as clean fur. 

Other Things To Keep In Mind

For your dog, a walk is much more than just a bathroom break. Walks can provide excellent opportunities for mental stimulation and socialization with other dogs and people. They can also help reinforce behavioral training and be a great source of exercise. However, during the winter months, it is important to keep safety in mind. According to Dogs Love Running, “Most healthy medium or large dogs can walk for 30-minutes if the temperature is above 20 degrees F. Smaller dogs should limit the walk to 15 or 20 minutes if temps are between 20 to 32 degrees F. If it’s below 0 degrees, no dog should be out for a walk.” Make sure to check the temperature, weather conditions, and route before heading out with your pup!

Need Some Help?

At Doggy Detail, we know what the Chicago area can be like. No one wants to go out to walk their dogs in the cold, which is why we offer our professional dog walking services year-round. If you need a hand with regular dog walking or are just going out of town to escape the cold, we can help provide your dogs with the love and attention they deserve! Give us a call at (847) 212-5616, send us an email at, or use our online contact form to get in touch. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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