A Day in the Life of a Dog Walker in Winter

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Winter has been hard on everyone this year, thanks to the Polar Vortex we keep hearing about.   I admit, I’ve never been a fan of cold weather.   As a nurse my exposure to the cold was limited to getting to my car to go to work, then making a bee line from my car to the inside of the ER.

Since I started my pet sitting business, Paula’s Pawsitive Pet Services, LLC, I have learned to dress for the cold.

But what about the dogs?  Some dogs love the cold, my Golden Retriever, Sadie, loves the snow and will roll and play in it.  She has access through her doggy door to go outside, but what about the dogs I walk during these winter days?

There is concern about the cold weather while walking the dogs, the snow and ice on the ground, the chemicals on the sidewalks and drive ways to melt it.  I take your dogs safety very seriously.  With the cold comes the danger to nose and paws of your fur-kid.  On these biting cold days, I limit the time of the walks.  I check the pads frequently.  Snow can pack into the pads. I also watch for any signs that indicate the dog is starting to lift their paws. 

When I return the dog back to the home after a quick potty break, I check the paws, remove any packed snow, and make sure there is no harm to the paws.  If the pet has walked across a salted area, I will wash their paws to make sure there are no salt residue that could harm and cause discomfort.

Senior dogs are a special concern in the cold of winter.  There are times when slick spots on the ice pose a threat of slipping and causing the senior to injure a leg or a back.  I am extremely careful to avoid any slick areas.  Neither of us want to hit the ground!

If you use salt to melt the ice on your driveway or side walk, please purchase the pet friendly salt compound.  I am also concerned about your pet getting salt on their paw pads.  I’ve been known to pick up a dog and carry to a salt-free area.

I become very attached to all my clients’ pets and their safety is a primary concern!

 

 

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