Lately, walking a pet has become extremely dangerous. The sidewalks and driveways are covered with ice. Since we are pet sitters and out walking all day, we use strap on cleats when there is danger of slippery walking. Right now we are using a product called yak trax that we got at Ramsey Outdoor. They have been a lifesaver the last few weeks.
If you have a dog that pulls or a difficult walker there is a good chance you may fall down in this icy weather. One thing to do, if you have steps,is get a leash long enough so that the dog can go all the way to the bottom while you are still on top landing, closing the door. You can also attach 2 leashes together. This way you will not be pulled downstairs.
Another thing to do if the dog pulls, is to change your collar to a harness. If you have a harness like "ez walk", the leash is attached to the harness under the dog's chin and chest and now you can almost "steer" your dog back to you. Just using a collar, the dog uses all it's weight and pulling is from his neck and from the top and in a straight line. A pulling dog with just a collar is a challenge even in the summer.
Sometimes walking your dogs can be hazardous to their health. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, exposure to calcium chloride (those white sidewalk pellets) is listed as "severe" for human contact.. It can burn your dog's paw, mouth and even burn the digestive tract. Exposure to rock salt can cause sores, blisters and infection.
After a winter walk it is a good idea to wash off the paws with warm water or a wet towel. Many people use paw wax,vaseline or of course booties to protect the paws.After a paw wash it's always nice to give a nice paw massage and belly rub
Be careful and give your dog a big hug for us!
The Furrygodmother Professional Pet sitters for Mahwah, Ramsey and neighboring towns