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Can you walk dogs in the snow? 8 ways to keep your pet safe on winter walks

Are you hoping to take your dog for a walk in the snow? Find out if it's safe to do so <i>(Image: Getty)</i>
Are you hoping to take your dog for a walk in the snow? Find out if it's safe to do so (Image: Getty)

There is nothing more exciting than waking up to a fresh blanket of snow, no matter how old you are.

Even in the freezing temperatures, it’s always tempting to wrap up warm in your thickest knitwear and coats to head out for some winter fun.

But what does it mean for our four-legged pets? After seeing your dog playing in the snow in the garden, you could be hoping to take them out for a walk to explore some more.

However, you might be wondering if you can walk your dogs in the snow and if it’s safe to do so. Let’s see what the experts have to say.

Can you walk your dog in the snow?

The good news is yes, but the experts at Dogs Trust have issued the following advice to those who want to take their fluffy family members on a walk in the snow this winter.

Keep your dog on a lead

“There may be deep patches or holes, or the snow may cover areas that aren’t safe. Keep your dog on a lead to protect and prevent them from falling and hurting themselves.”

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar, ID tag and is microchipped

“It's important to ensure your microchipping database is up to date with your address and contact details.”


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Wipe paws after walk

“Make sure you wipe your dog’s legs, feet and stomach after a walk, as grit from the roads and dampness from rain or snow can irritate their skin.”

Never leave your dog in the car

“Whether it's a hot or cold day outside, leaving your dog in a car is very dangerous and should never be an option.”

Don’t let your dog walk on frozen ponds

“The ice may not be thick enough to take their weight. If your dog does fall through the ice never be tempted to go in after them. If possible, encourage them to swim back to you and call the emergency services.”

Avoid antifreeze

Antifreeze is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs. Make sure you always keep antifreeze and other chemicals well out of reach and be sure to quickly mop up any spills.”


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Safety first

“Your own safety is important too. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather with a suitable coat and shoes. Make sure you're as visible as your dog is.”

Regularly check your dog's leads, collars and harnesses

"Make sure they’re all functioning safely and won’t get damaged by winter weather, as wet weather can cause metal clips to rust.

"It can be trickier to do up lead clips and carabiners and attach them to collars and harnesses when it's cold, so do this indoors if you can."

The charity adds: “Some dogs grow thick furry coats all year round, so as the weather gets colder, consider letting your dog's fur grow longer to give them added protection.

“Some shorter-haired breeds and puppies may need a little bit of help staying warm and so would need to wear a coat in colder weather.”