Keep your tags close by and easy Wild Salmon treats

 

What fun it is to be out in the crisp cold fresh air with your favorite friend walking through a city like New York, Boston, Minneapolis, San Fransisco, Atlanta or a park or trail, the beach (Naples Florida, Cape Cod).   Just think of the enjoyable landscape and your dog sniffing everything around or playing with a new friend.  I can almost feel the sun on my face now. 

So now that you are out enjoying your walk how do you keep it safe and enjoyable? A few tips or ideas on making the walk safe and fun for you your dog (Labradoodle, Golden Retriever, GreyHound, Chihuahua, Black Lab, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Danes).

1. The clothing you wear and you dog should be very visible nice and bright for any passing cars to see or if in the woods other walkers. Invest in a high vis vest for you and your dog. They come in special sizes even for Greyhounds with their long lean bodies.  (www.funlovingpets.com has some good choices)  When walking at night include a flashlight or headlamp for extra protection.  The number of pedestrians hit while walking has increased.

2. Keep your dog leashed (Yorkies, cocker spaniels, English Setter, German Shepherd, Terriers) and close to you.  Ever have the problem of the dog walking you instead of you walking the dog? One training tip is to keep a yummy treats in your pocket (Grizzley treats, Salmon Jerky, Cheese, Canine Cavier, wholesome Dog) at random as you walk offer a treat to your dog and at other times a pat on the head. Your dog will never know when a yummy treat will be given.  They will stay close to you incase you are handing them a good treat.  Put a command with the treat such as come or heel so they recognize the sound with the treat and your expectations.

3. Be a responsible pet owner, no one likes to be walking and step in dog doo.  Bring along something to pick up the leavings and bring an appropriate size bag. No need for a big bag with a small dog such as a Chihuahua or Maltese, Silky Terrier, however if you have a large dog  Great Dane Bullmastif, Newfoundland than you need a much bigger bag.

4. Travel with all of their tags license, rabies tag, ID. Keep them on the dog. If you frequently change collars try the Klip It. the Klip It allows you to keep all the tags on the Klip It and just switch the Klip It to the new collar.  No need to fight with each tag individually for changing. Also your dog (Dashund, Beagle, Bulldog, pug, collie) is easily identified if they get loose.

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Ice and snow can be fun to look at and play in for both you and your dog.  what fun to throw snowballs up in the air for your dog to catch or for your pet to roll around in just having fun.

The concern comes in when you take your dog for a walk on a salted road and what you have just put down on your driveway and walkway to prevent falls.  Lets look at some of the dangers.

Safe Paw ice melt

The most inexpensive method is salt, rock salt or a sand and salt mix.  Most towns and cities use a salt blend on their roads and parking lots.   Salt or a Salt blend is a natural product coming straight from the ground many times imported from around the world.    Salt removes the ice and snow by lowering the freezing point of the water.

The danger in salt or a salt blend is the way it drys out a dog’s paws and when your dog cleans him or herself they are ingesting salt.  Many times if a dog does not have its paws cleaned or protected from the salt and cold they will crack and can get infected.  Keep your dog’s paws clean and watch for any infection.

Other de-icers to watch for have a fertilizer base such as ammonia or urea these do not work at temperatures below 20 F and for those in areas it gets colder than 20 F these will not work.  The fertilizer based products have a higher concentration or Ammonia and Urea than what you would normally put down for fertilizer, the result being a burnt lawn and runoff in the spring. These create algae bloom in our waterways if there is too much fertilizer in the water.

One safer method is to use a product called Safe Paw it is made up of crystalline amide core infused with special glycols.  It also works by reducing the temperature for which the ice and snow will freeze. It is not a fertilizer base thus it will not create the alage bloom in a run off or over fertilize your lawn. Animals tend not to have any side effects from injestion. 

When taking your pet for a walk on the streets wash their paws off when returning or put boots on their paws to protect them from the salt and ice.  Have fun in the snow with your dog.