Autumn Top Tips
Posted on 25th October 2016 at 13:15
With the nights drawing in and temperature dropping, before you know it the trees will be bare and we'll be wrapped up in jumpers, scarves and gloves. (with an umbrella permanently in our bag!) We've jotted down a couple of tips and things to consider now Summers over.
As it gets colder, we wrap ourselves up with more layers - jumpers, scarves, hats, gloves. Spare a thought for your pooch - short haired dogs can also feel the chill, especially breeds such as greyhounds and lurchers. Small dogs often get a little chilly so invest in a suitable outdoor coat. There are a vast array of coats on the market and whilst we don't 'dress our dogs up', we do prefer to pop a warm waterproof coat on our dogs if it's raining or particularly cold. If you're out on a long walk, your dog will keep warm by running but if you take a break and don't keep your moving, that's when the cold can really hit home, so invest in a coat - One that has a reflective strip on can also be very useful whilst walking at night.
Talking of reflective strips - it's dark by 6 o'clock these days so if, like many, you walk your dog in the dark, it's important to remember to 'be seen' We don't just mean you either - your dog should have some sort of reflective or bright items to enhance visibility. There are many products on the market - there are collars and leads which have reflective piping incorporated within the design, there are flashing 'light up' collars, you can buy a 'pet blinker' which is a small LED light which you can attach to a dogs collar (it looks like a small key ring), there are 'halo collars' which are thin plastic tubes which light up around the neck of you dog and of course there are a whole host of reflective coats from light fluorescent jackets to designer bespoke coats with reflective strips incorporated within the design. Some people also hang a bicycle light from their dogs collar as it's something they already have - this is also very effective. Be seen, Be Safe. That goes for you and your dog.
You also need to make sure that you can be seen too - London streets are generally well lit but there are certain areas which may lead to a park which may be dimly lit so make sure oncoming traffic and other people can see you and your dog. Again, there are lots of items on the market and we recommend ski jackets and trousers as they are well designed with some useful pockets for items which general coats do not have, some have reflective strips or piping incorporated in their design and they are made for colder climates so will also keep you toasty warm and dry as a bone as they're waterproof too. You can also buy reflective strips really cheaply and make up simple bands to go around your arms.
We do not recommend that you let your dog off lead in the dark unless you are 100% confident that the park you are in is entirely enclosed with any gates closed and that your dog has 100% recall. Accidents happen more often at night and with foxes coming out earlier and cats about on the prowl, even the 'safest dog' can be eager to investigate and can easily get lost.
Walking in the dark can be quite daunting - keep to well lit areas and always walk on the pavement. Don't forget that road walking also helps to keep your dogs nails short so at least one road walk should be incorporated into your dogs exercise once a day, even if it's just going up to the shops. It's also good for socialisation and mental stimulation.
Always cross roads at traffic lights or pedestrian crossings and teach your dog road safety - make your dog sit at curbs and keep the focus on your command, only walk across the road when you command him/her to cross. This is good for training.
If you simply can't walk your dog at night or work late or work shifts - why not take advantage of the evening walking service that we offer. If you live Clapham, Battersea, Wandsworth or surrounding areas, we will walk your dog in the evening for you! PIck up is arranged between 4-5pm your dog will be walked for at least one hour and then delivered back to you having enjoyed a good walk between 7.30-8.30. All dogs will be kitted out in our reflective clothing and will be walked both on the pavement and enjoy playtime in an enclosed park. We're here to take the stress out of walking in the dark. Places are restricted to 4 dogs so please book in advance. Cost per walk - £15.00. Call us on 07711 923 718 or email us here to book your evening walk.
Always keep an old towel by your front door - coming in from a cold, wet and windy walk can mean your carpets get ruined! A good idea is to invest in a good 'dirt trapper mat' but we like to train our dogs to wait inside the door enabling us to dry them off and wipe dirty paws before they go racing through the house leaving muddy paw prints on your nice cream carpet!
Once in doors, just give your dog 'the once over' by checking his coat to make sure he hasn't brought home any nasties and check his pads and paws. Keep longhaired dogs tangle free by giving them a brush at least once a day.
If you have lovely old floorboards where your dog sleeps, get down on your hands and knees near his bed and just check that there are no draughts coming through. Make sure his bed is a warm and cosy place to be. We recommend crate training your dog - during the winter months, we like to cover our crates with a duvet which can also help to muffle sounds - especially around fireworks night.
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