Winter time can make the logistics of exercising your dog(s) more difficult. Their needs are no different, and skipping walks because of the dark and cold can lead to boredom and mischief within the home. Here are six top tips to help you through the winter.
Stick to well-lit, populated routes where possible and don’t forget to mix it up once in a while. If you’re a lover of podcasts or music in your headphones, turn the volume down a bit to give you a greater awareness of your surroundings.
Make sure to follow your dog's cues as some dogs are much more anxious in the dark, particularly in the evenings when there is often more wildlife activity around. Take note of their behaviour and adapt your walking schedules to suit their needs. If your dog struggles with anxieties, you may find a calming diffuser beneficial.
Could you spend longer on a morning walk to make the most of the sunrise and temporarily shorter evenings? Some areas also have flood lit and contained exercise areas or obedience and agility classes that might make a welcome change from your usual dark walk.
Do you know a group of other dog walkers who may like to join forces with you for your dark dog walks? This way, with safety in numbers, you may be able to take advantage of well-lit parks or routes that may not be suitable for lone walkers.
A head torch can revolutionise night time walking. It may not always be possible to be on a well-lit street, even if it is just a 100 meters down a short footpath. It will also help you to scoop the poop with more confidence too! Some sturdy dog poo bags might also come in handy here!
It can be really tempting to let our pampered pooches have a little romp, but their senses are far acuter than ours and they may catch wind of something that we haven’t in the dark and can be gone in seconds.
And don't forget, it's not too long until our evenings are longer again, but it's worth being prepared in the meantime!