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10 Tips for Winter Running with Your Dog


23 January 2024



If you’re a dog owner and a running enthusiast, bringing your canine companion along for your winter runs can be a fantastic way to keep both of you active and healthy. However, running with your dog in colder temperatures comes with its own set of challenges. In this blog post, we’ll explore some essential tips for winter running with your dog, including crucial advice on preventing bloat by timing their meals correctly.

1. Check the Weather and Plan Accordingly:

Before heading out for your winter run, check the weather forecast to ensure you and your dog are adequately prepared. Consider your dog’s breed and accustomed conditions when deciding the suitable temperature. Generally, aim for temperatures no lower than -15°C to avoid frostbitten paws. Dress yourself and your dog in layers to stay warm.

2. Warm Up Gradually:

Just like humans, dogs need a proper warm-up before engaging in vigorous exercise, especially in the cold. Take a few extra minutes to allow your dog’s muscles to warm up by starting with a brisk walk before breaking into a run. This can help prevent injuries and stiffness caused by the colder temperatures.

3. Feeding Tips to Prevent Bloat:

Bloat (GDV) is a severe condition that can affect dogs, particularly before or after exercise. To reduce the risk, avoid feeding your dog immediately before or after a run. To prevent it, wait at least 60 to 90 minutes after exercise before providing them with a full meal. Instead, opt for a small, easily digestible snack about 30 minutes before exercising, such as Nutrience freeze-dried treats. This precaution helps prevent stomach twists, which can be fatal if not promptly addressed. Read more about bloat here

4. Protect Those Paws:

Snow, ice, and salt on the roads can be harsh on your dog’s paw pads. Consider using paw wax or booties to shield paws from potentially harmful substances commonly found on winter surfaces.

5. Choose the Right Time of Day:

Opt for running during the warmer parts of the day, when the sun is up, and temperatures are slightly milder. This helps avoid exposing your dog to the coldest parts of the day, reducing the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

6. Invest in Reflective Gear:

Winter days are shorter, and visibility can be reduced, especially in the early morning and late evening. To ensure the safety of both you and your furry running partner, invest in reflective gear, such as vests, collars, and leashes, to make yourselves visible to others.

7. Choose Safe Routes:

Winter weather can bring icy and slippery conditions, so it’s crucial to select safe running routes for you and your dog. Opt for well-lit paths, avoid areas with heavy traffic, and be mindful of icy patches that could lead to slips or injuries for both of you.

8. Maintain Hydration:

Cold weather doesn’t diminish the importance of staying hydrated. Bring a collapsible water bowl and offer your dog water during breaks to keep them hydrated. Snow can be a source of hydration, but it’s essential to provide clean water as well.

9. Watch for Signs of Discomfort:

Dogs may not express discomfort in the same way humans do. Keep an eye out for signs of distress, such as limping, shivering, or a reluctance to continue running. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to stop and assess your dog’s well-being.

10. Adapt to Your Dog’s Fitness Level:

Just like humans, dogs have varying fitness levels. Adjust your running pace and distance based on your dog’s capabilities. If your dog is older or has health concerns, consult with your veterinarian to determine an appropriate exercise plan.

Winter running with your dog can be a rewarding experience, fostering both physical fitness and the bond between both of you. By following these tips, you’ll create a safe and enjoyable environment for your dog, making those chilly runs a highlight of the season for both of you.


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