Winter is coming and I want to share some of my favorite human and dog tips to have safe and fun walks during these cold and SHORT days. Disclaimer: this does not contain any affiliate links or sponsored products; these are items we genuinely use and LOVE!
Protect your paws:
Humans: it's time to pull out your gloves, mittens, and wool socks (my favorite are Darn Tough from Vermont, of course!). Be sure to keep your hands and feet cozy in these cooler temps; opt for moisture-wicking fabrics that allow your hands and feet to breathe and stay dry.
Dogs: our dog's feet need protection from the elements as well; topical balms and salves (I am a fan of Musher's Secret) can be applied as a protective barrier from the elements. These products help prevent ice and snow from building up into their pads. For even more protection, consider dog shoes; our friends over at Ruffwear make some excellent options.
Humans: check the forecast for wind, rain, sleet, snow; this will help you choose the appropriate outer layer to protect against whatever elements we are facing for the day. No one wants a soggy puffy coat and a soggy dog!
Dogs: fur friends with longer coats shouldn't need jackets or sweaters in milder temperatures, but some short-haired, smaller, or older dogs may be more comfortable with a little extra warmth. Both Ruffwear and Kurgo make some excellent all-weather options that are stylish and comfy!
Light the way:
Humans: carry a flashlight or opt for a hands-free headlamp; this helps you see where you are going and makes you visible to other trail users/vehicles.
Dogs: try a clip-on collar light or a reflective harness to make your pets more visible in the darker hours. With two dogs, it's nice to have two different color lights to quickly tell them apart on a dark trail (very blurry photo below for reference).
Slip and slide proof your shoes:
This category is definitely for humans. Grab a pair of traction devices (Yaktrax or similar) to put over your shoes/boots to give you a little extra grip when the sidewalks get slick.
If you have questions about making your winter adventures safer for you or your doggo, reach out! With winter sports right around the corner, it's a perfect time to start your pre-winter sports training.
Happy trails and tails,
Nicole Todisco MacDonald
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