Start the new year off right by celebrating Walk Your Pet Month. This January, we are hoping to encourage you to walk your pet safely and more often. The winter season poses specific health risks to your pet that we will discuss in this blog.
Before you can walk your dog anywhere outside, you must begin leash training. The more comfortable your dog is on a leash, the more they will listen. Leash training ensures your pet is used to the leash and leash commands on a walk. To practice leash training, have your pet wear their harness indoors. Use any training techniques they are used to, like clickers or treats. Do this until it is no longer a big deal. Once your pet is comfortable with the harness, attach a leash and walk them around your home. By practicing to walk them indoors, your pet will become accustomed to the leash and the appropriate behaviors. When you feel comfortable with your pet’s leash training, take them for a short walk outside and see how they do. If you used treats to train them, be generous with the treats on these first walks.
Cold weather safety for dogs
Proper footwear for dogs includes what is commonly known as “booties”. There are several variations on the market, but the most important thing is that your pet is comfortable. Good booties will have some material or rubber padding on the bottom of the bootie to ensure your dog will have traction on wet surfaces. There are booties that look like socks; there are ones that go up the leg. There are also booties that crisscross over your dog’s back to keep them from taking them off. If your pet hates booties, use treats and rewards to try and get them used to the booties. Try having your pet wear the booties indoors before having them on a walk.
Booties should be worn whenever there is snow or ice. In cities, rock salt is commonly used to melt snow and ice. Rock salt is toxic to pets and will irritate their paws. Without booties, your pet’s paws are left vulnerable even if you wash them off when you get home.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!