Tag Archives: dog paw care

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Do you walk your dog daily? If so, that’s terrific! Even if Fido has a yard to play in, daily walks will still benefit him by keeping him active, preventing boredom, and offering mental stimulation. However, it can be easy to overlook basic safety precautions when something becomes routine. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses walking your dog safely.

Leashes

Be sure to use a steady leash, and check it regularly for signs of wear. Retractable leashes are great in certain situations, but they aren’t necessarily safe for all occasions, as the mechanisms do sometimes jam or break. Don’t use retractable leashes while walking along roads, or in areas where you may run into stray dogs or wild animals. Ask your vet for more information.

Night Walking

Always use reflective gear at night. Save exploring for daylight: after sunset, stick to familiar, well-lit paths, and keep walks short and sweet. Many predators are nocturnal, so don’t let Fido sniff around in wild or wooded areas.

Paw Care

Don’t forget that Fido is barefoot! Keep an eye on the ground, and re-route your pooch around glass or other sharp objects. In summer, try to walk your furry friend in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out. Dog can get painful paw burns from hot tar! In winter, snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can hurt your canine buddy’s feet. Fresh snow can also hide dangerous objects. Always try to keep your pet on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his feet.

Hacks

Designate a specific jacket for doggy walking. Keep spare keys, a portable phone charger, waste baggies, treats, a small flashlight, and a whistle in the pockets. You may also want to clip a carabiner around your pup’s leash.

Roads

If you are walking along the side of the road, keep Fido to the outside. He has a shorter profile, and is harder for drivers to spot, especially on curves.

Pulling

Does your furry pal walk you, instead of it being the other way around? This can not only take the fun out of those daily walks, it can also be quite dangerous. To break Fido of this bad habit, you’ll want to stop and change direction every time he yanks on his leash.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is right around the corner. Is your dog ready for the cold weather? While our canine pals do have fur coats, they still need a bit of extra TLC to help keep them safe, healthy, and warm during the cold season. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on caring for your pooch in winter.

Grooming

Tangles, mats, and dead fur can make Fido’s fur less effective at keeping him warm. Brush your canine pal regularly.

Clothing

If your dog has thin fur, he may need some clothes to help him stay warm when the thermometer plunges. Pick up a good doggy sweater for your four-legged buddy. Be sure not to choose anything that is tight on him!

Paw Care

Snow, ice, sand, salt, and chemical de-icers are all harsh on Fido’s sensitive paws, and can cause painful burns and blisters. Use balm or wax to protect your pup’s furry feet. Keeping your dog’s nails and toe fur trimmed will help him get better traction on slippery surfaces.

Shelter

We always recommend that dogs live indoors, where they are safer, warmer, and happier. But if Fido does spend a lot of time in the yard, make sure he has suitable shelter outdoors.

Bedding

Offer your pet a nice, comfy bed to curl up in at night. If Fido is in his golden years, consider getting him a good, orthopedic doggy bed. Placement is also important: don’t put your pooch’s doggy bed in a chilly or drafty area.

Diet

Some dogs need extra calories in winter. If your dog is a senior, recovering from illness or surgery, or spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portions during the cold season. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Exercise

As the weather cools, you may opt to take your dog on shorter walks, rather than a leisurely stroll. To keep your pooch from becoming a couch potato, try to keep him active inside. Playing fetch is one great way to get Fido moving.

Ice

When walking your furry pal, don’t bring him too close to frozen bodies of water where there could possibly be thin ice. You don’t want to take any chances on your pet falling through!

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime.