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Winter walks.  Yes or No?

Walking in Winter may not be suitable for your dog.  Read on to see what you can do to support your dog in the coldest season.  

Brrrrrr!  We’ve had a cold snap!  It may be tempting to just snuggle on the couch with a book, blanket and doggy, but what about some exercise for your best friend? 


There are many benefits (for both of you) in maintaining your walking routine.  Yes, it helps to restore and maintain good mental health.  It keeps muscles and joints from becoming too stiff, especially those with arthritis or mobility challenges. 


When is walking not encouraged?  You heard me correctly.  Walking can at times be less than ideal for some dogs.  Those suffering from severe arthritis can suffer from the cold and have a higher risk of an injury from slipping, falling or stumbling on some surfaces.  Others with anxiety may simply find leaving the security of home too much to handle.


For dogs who can take a walk, here are some tips for a safer, more comfortable walk: 

  • Warm up Fido’s joints with a lead walk inside the house for a few minutes.
  • A warming “pat with purpose” along the full length of your dog’s body including his legs will prepare his muscles for activity.
  • Pop a comfortable and rain proof jacket on your doggo before you set off.
  • Keep the duration of the walk short.
  • Remember that even a simple, easy walk can do just as much for your dog’s body and mind as a longer journey.


For those where walking is not possible or safe:

  • Some “indoor walkies” on stable surfaces to get her up and moving. You can hide treats around the walking area for her to find as a surprise.
  • Lots of “pats with purpose” along his body including Doggo’s legs to warm up muscles and promote circulation. Be gentle if your dog is already sore.  For both your sakes.
  • A gentle lead walk in your yard when:
    • It is the warmest part of a sunny day.
    • There is no breeze, wind or chill factor.
    • Only on stable, non-slip surfaces.
    • For a maximum of 5 minutes at a time.


How can Canine Remedial Therapy help in both of these scenarios?  Most healthy dogs of any age will benefit from a wellbeing massage.  Especially in winter when even the strongest and fittest can stiffen up from the cold. We can perform a full assessment to help identify niggling musculoskeletal conditions.


For our seniors need more support during Winter. In addition to a wellbeing massage, additional techniques can be incorporated to alleviate tension and discomfort caused by muscle and joint degeneration, medical conditions and chronic injuries.   We can teach you techniques to use as home remedy. 


The long term goal is to improve your dog’s quality of life – for today, and all of his tomorrows.