As the days get shorter, mornings and evenings are getting darker but that doesn’t mean your dog needs less exercise. Here are some tips for exercising safely with your dog in winter.


Dress your pup in high-visibility gear

Choosing the right gear for exercising in the dark with your dog makes an evening run a whole lot easier. If you normally walk first thing in the morning or after work in the evening, winter means your walks might be a bit darker. Make sure your pet is visible to passers-by in the low light.

Don’t lose sight of your pet with reflective collars and harnesses. If you want something a little brighter, then attach an adventure light to their current collar to keep them safe.

Play with high-vis toys

If fetch is your pup’s favourite game, then high-visibility toys will entertain them no matter how dark it is. These light-up and glow-in-the-dark toys make it easy for your pet to find them, meaning you won’t lose another ball!

Adjust your walking times (if possible) so it’s not too cold

If your work schedule allows, consider changing the time for walkies to the middle of the day, earlier in the afternoon, or later in the morning to make the most out of winter’s reduced daylight hours and temperature peaks and troughs.

If you can’t time your walks for the warmer parts of the day, consider getting a jacket for your dog. Short-haired breeds and older dogs in particular will benefit from some extra layers. Petbarn has a wide range of jackets and coats, ranging in size from XXS to XL

Exercise at home

Your dog’s walks might be shorter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue their exercise at home. Play fetch in the backyard, teach them some new tricks, or build a mini agility course. There are plenty of ways to keep your dog’s mind and body active from the comfort and warmth of your own home.

Stick to familiar, well-lit paths

Choose paths lit up by streetlights so you won’t lose sight of your precious pup. It is easier to see where you’re going and there are fewer trip hazards.

Choosing a route your dog is familiar with will also prevent them from getting hyperactive and taking off to explore.

Train your dog to walk safely and calmly on the lead

Being pulled along by your over-excited and straining pup isn’t that much fun. We’ve all been there, but it’s important to teach your pet to walk properly on the lead, especially in the dark. Training them regularly during daylight to walk on the pathway and not stray off the kerb will make your night-time walks much safer for you and your pup.

If your dog loves to sniff every tree, then consider using a retractable lead or an extra-long training lead. The longer length means your pup can wander and sniff without you losing them, allowing them to continue to safely explore their surroundings.

Do you need help teaching your dog how to walk calmly on the lead? Petbarn Puppy School offers obedience and behaviour classes for older dogs too, not just young puppies. Book in for a Beginner Class today

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