Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Walking Woes

We in the Northeast have been very lucky this November - no snow, lots of beautiful days, temperatures in the 50's! For a pet sitter, that's perfect. So what can professional pet sitters share to help YOU when the weather isn't as cooperative?

A lot! My first winter investment is always a good set of studded snow tires. Northeast Pennsylvania is made up of hills on top of hills on the sides of mountains, and I can't think of a single road that runs in a straight line around here. So far, the snow tires have done a good job getting me through most terrain.

Warm weather gear is a must. I wear layers with a good warm hooded coat over everything. I am still shopping around for a set of warm gloves that still allow me to clip a leash to a collar, any suggestions? Waterproof boots are important, and I still keep a pair of socks in my car in case my feet do get wet. Walking dogs in wet, cold socks is no fun!

In addition to my boots, I also bought a pair of ice cleats that pop on to the bottoms of my boots. These are excellent for getting traction on icy driveways and walkways. They pop on and off easily (they are not to be worn indoors!) and really make a difference when walking on ice or hard snow.

Rock salt and quick-melt pellets can be dangerous to your pets' feet, especially when they come inside and try to lick their paws clean. Rock salt can cut and dry out their paw pads, and pellets can contain harmful chemicals your pet can ingest. I recommend finding pet-friendly ice melter if possible. If not, then make sure you wash and dry your pet's feet very well after coming in from your walk. I always keep clean towels in my car for muddy or messy paws, and in my own home I keep a towel by the door for the same reason.

Share your winter weather ideas with me in the comments section! I'd love to hear what others are doing to keep pets warm, safe, and dry this winter!

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