The best Christmas dog walks in the UK
Where are the best places to walk a dog over Christmas? And what should dog owners remember on their festive stroll?
With a full tummy, films on the TV and the warmth of family and friends around you, it can be tempting to stay in your armchair across the festive period. But just as dogs are for life – not just for Christmas – dog walks are for every day too!
Your four-legged friend will be as keen as ever to run, sniff and explore on a winter walk. You could find that stretching your legs and getting fresh air is a welcome relief too.
Where are the best places to walk a dog over Christmas?
If you live near the British coastline, it’s a great time to head for the beach or a seafront promenade. During the warmer months, most of these have restrictions on off lead dog walking activities. However, throughout the festive period both owners and dogs will be free to exercise there, often in splendid isolation!
You may prefer to walk your beloved canine in places where other dog owners congregate. Exercising and exploring with your canine pal can be a social activity in many dog-friendly parks and public woods.
Keep in mind that daylight hours will be shorter during the winter months. Venturing deep into remote areas is not a good idea as by early evening you will be plunged into darkness!
If the weather really is alarming, your dog walk on Christmas Day could be somewhere closer to home, but still someplace relatively new to your dog. They will love the chance to experience new smells, sounds and sights even if walkies are shorter than normal!
Preparing for a Christmas Day dog walk
As Christmas Day in the UK is likely to be cold and damp, clearly you need to dress warmly in waterproof outerwear. Some owners invest in a growing range of protective clothing for dogs too. Smaller, skinnier and short-haired breeds can find insulation and protection from the rain makes walks more pleasant, while prolonging their time outdoors. For many owners, outdoor clothing for dogs is for their benefit! It’s easier to strip items off and throw them in a washing machine, than dealing with a wet, dirty dog after a winter walk!
However, it makes sense to pack an old towel or have one handy by your door, to quickly dry or wipe surface pollutants off your dog’s fur and paws after any wet or muddy walk. After which they may also need a nice soak in suitable dog shampoo and tepid water (dogs are more sensitive to warm water than we are).
If you’re going on a long walk, take fresh water for your four-legged friend in a suitable doggy water container. They could work up a thirst while running around, even in winter, and to prevent them from lapping up dirty water from puddles and streams!
Avoid pavements and roads that have been heavily salted. Prolonged exposure to any chemical can be a risk for dog paws, but they may also want to lick them when they get home. Also limit how much time they walk on ice and snow. Dogs have an enviable natural ability to cope with cold surfaces, but it can cause dryness and cracking in their paw pads from prolonged exposure.
The best advice for Christmas Day dog walks - have fun and play awhile in the fresh air. It’s the best gift you can give to your dog.