Brr. Good luck opening up that poop bag…
Extreme cold is a noticeable risk to keep in mind when walking dogs, but there are less obvious dangers to keep in mind as well. Cold-weather chemicals can find their way onto dog’s paws, frozen locks, snow drifts and other random events 9 times out 10 you were not prepared for.
Here are five easy ways to keep you and your pet happy, healthy, and safe on every dog walk this winter.
Most dogs paws do not stand a chance when it comes to cold, ice and chemically filled salt. I carry a couple products that help protect your pups paws.
Mushers Secret: this is my go to product- it deters salt and ice from snow and ice sticking to the hair between paw pads it dries in seconds to form a semi-permeable shield. Non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-staining formula that can be used weekly or as needed to prevent abrasions, burning, drying and cracking. The bonus? It is easy to apply and relatively cheap.
Vaseline: Same concept as the Mushers Secret but a bit messier. This is great for when you are in a pinch because most people already have this somewhere in the house.
Booties: Full disclosure, I do not use these mainly because neither of my dogs will use them. However, I have a boxer client who wears “My Busy Dog” booties proudly and we can walk long distances with ease.
Frozen Locks and Lock Boxes
There is nothing worse then getting to a clients house and realizing the lock is frozen and its zero degrees and the dog is barking its head off in the window because it has to pee. I learned my lesson the hard way after trying to warm up a door lock with my gloves and breath= fail. I did a lot of research and have found Ice-Off Spray De-Icer works the best and the fastest. I have used it on car locks, door locks and lock boxes with success. After the first snow this bottle gets put in my trunk.
Spinning Tires= Cat Litter
Your 30 minute visit is over and you go to back out of the driveway and you stop moving. Shit. You’re stuck. If your me, you just keep hitting the gas in hopes that miraculously you will become unstuck. Not the case. Triple A to the rescue! I am glad this happened though because the guy gave me a great tip that later would prove to work. He told me to carry cheap cat litter, you read that right. The biggest reason cars get stuck is because the lack of traction- pour some cat litter under your tire and boom your tire has something to grip. I have since gotten an SUV but this little hack saved me a couple times when I was driving my little car.
Icy Side Walks
It is one thing to walk a dog who constantly pulls (I know a name came to you mind) but it’s another thing when your trying to walk them on icy sidewalks. My favorite product that has saved my butt (literally) is Yaktrax. They slip right over your boot => extremely convenient and cheap! In addition to Yaktrax, I carry pet safe salt for any vacation visits I may be doing during the colder seasons.
Gloves are the worst.
Have you ever tried to open a poop bag with gloves? What a joke. Instead of taking your gloves off or using your mouth (yes, gross) I have found a couple tips that help. Nitrile gloves to the rescue! I have used these two ways: 1. I bought a cheap pair of gloves and cut the the tips off of the thumb and pointer fingers. Then I would wear the latex gloves under those= great grip and extra warmth. 2. You can just wear them right over your existing gloves. Not feeling the latex gloves? You can always hot glue 3 to 4 lines on the tips of your gloves for DIY grippers.