Boxing Day walks with your dog
Taking your dog for a walk on Boxing Day is a great way for the both of you to work off the festive food!
Where you take your pooch for a stroll will depend on a number of factors, including the weather, where you live, and your dog’s exercise requirements, and those considerations will also dictate what things you should take with you.
The dog park
If you are located close to a designated dog park, that will certainly please your pup!
Dog parks are usually securely fenced and double-gated to keep cavorting canines safe from any nearby roads. Many dog parks have weatherproof pathways and mulch-covered areas that help to prevent dogs from getting too muddy and dirty on wet days, saving you the hassle of bathing your dog when you get home.
Also, a good dog park will have seats and shelter where dog walkers can chat while their charges play and socialise. You could take a ball or one of your dog’s favourite toys with you to the park. However, you should be aware that some dog parks don’t allow toys or treats in case pups start scrapping over a coveted toy.
Many parks provide water for dogs and owners, as well as dog waste stations and poop bags, but be sure to take both with you in case they’re not provided.
Most public parks allow dogs to be exercised, but you may need to keep your dog leashed and you will need to remember to clean up their waste. Remember to take a supply of poop bags with you, as well as some water and a bowl if you’re planning on walking any great distance.
If the weather is very cold and temperatures drop below freezing, be careful to keep your dog on his leash if you’re walking close to water. Dogs have been known to get into trouble when running onto a frozen pond or lake where the ice has broken under their weight.
If you live close to a beach, a Boxing Day outing to the sands can be very pleasant, especially if the beach is usually closed to dogs during the main summer season. Remember that coastal areas are usually pretty exposed to the elements, so be sure to kit your pup out in a dog coat if he is thin-skinned or elderly as they may feel the cold.
What else should you take with you?
If the weather is especially cold and frosty, your dog could be at risk of suffering frostbite on his paws. Ice and snow can become “balled up” between a dog’s toes, causing painful sores.
You can prevent frost and snow-related injuries by fitting your dog with special dog booties. The boots are waterproof, lightweight, and easy to fit, and they will protect your pup from the effects of walking on frozen ground or snow.
A Boxing Day walk with your canine friend is the perfect way to round off the Christmas holidays. Wherever you decide to take your dog for their walk, remember to kit them out in a coat if they are likely to feel the cold. Don’t be tempted to go too far if your dog isn’t used to lots of exercise or is elderly.
And, finally, wherever you take your dog for a walk, remember to take a good supply of dog waste bags with you, so you can always clean up after your pooch!