Spring is officially here, but winter didn’t get the memo yet. As a result, you can still be surprised by a sudden rainfall or get ankle-deep in mud. The temperatures in Chicago can drop without any warning throughout March and April, and rain can come at any moment so don’t get excited too soon.
This can be a nuisance for pet owners across the city, mostly because wet weather and misbehaved dogs don’t go well together. Potential health risks are an even greater cause for concern, as your furry friend can easily catch a cold while walking home all wet from the rain.
But you can prevent all this with the following five tips for spring dog walking:
Keep Your Dog Warm & Cozy
We’ve mentioned previously how sudden rainfall can be dangerous for your dog’s health, especially in combination with low temperatures. If you’re a proud owner of a fashionable pooch who enjoys strutting around in little jackets and boots, then you can skip to the next tip.
If not, you should at least have a dog raincoat that you can wrap your pup in as soon as you notice the first rain cloud. You should still insist on boots, though, since having a raincoat alone cannot protect your dog from getting wet from melting snow and ice.
Set Up a Quick Cleaning Station
You’ll need a solid mat, a dog towel, and a damp cloth.
Use them to set up a quick cleaning station at the entrance of your house before you leave for a walk. That way, you’ll have everything you need to clean your dog’s dirty paws at hand and you won’t have to scrub the mud off the porch steps every time you return from a walk.
Avoid Unfamiliar Walking Spots
Though spring is a great time to start exploring the city, the melting snow can leave streets and parks brimming with trash. For dogs, few things are more exciting than piled up garbage and stale food. Spring lawns are then a smorgasbord of unauthorized snacks.
Because of this and also because of all the potentially harmful objects that can hurt your dog’s paws, it may be best to postpone spring excursions for a couple of weeks until the snow is gone, and the trash is cleaned up. Stick around your block, where you know what to expect.
Have Water & Treats on You
For the same reason, but also because street puddles can be full of mud and salt from the melting snow, don’t forget to bring fresh water and some treats for the walk. When it comes to avoiding risky distractions, there isn’t a more effective trick than this one.
Curb Your Dog’s Hunting Instinct
The treat bag may fail to do the trick if your dog picks up a squirrel smell, though. Spring is a hunting season even for domesticated animals, as prey drive can never be fully eliminated. This is another reason why you should avoid unfamiliar walking spots.
Have fun but stay alert! Find the best and most prepared dog walkers with Cruisin’ Canines today!