Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pooches: Preparing to Walk our Dogs in the Winter

Since we don't have a backyard we don't have a choice: we need to go outside several times a day to walk our dogs. And while that might sound like a terrible thing...it really hasn't been that bad. We do believe in the phrase: "There's no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothes". Since then, we've picked up on some things to make our winter walks a bit easier and dog-walking specific. Though not as dramatic as Miss M's attire.

Crampons:
It has taken us over 3 years to get on the crampon bandwagon, but it has been well worth it.  There's many a Chicago sidewalk that will be completely iced over, which becomes even more complicated with an excited dog (or two!). Tired of feeling like every walk was Iditarod, we finally picked up these crampons allowing us to walk over ice with ease. Now we wonder why it has taken us so long.

Flip Top Gloves:
I've found that I always have to take off my mittens to get a poo bag out, which can get cold. So now I use flip-top gloves so I don't have to take my gloves off, or risk loosing one in the snow. I've been curious about using 'texting gloves' because I think those might work well also. Has anyone tried those?

Dog Booties:
 I'm not sure if our dogs' feet get cold as much as they get salt caught between their paws which can be painful. We had tried using the fancy boots before, then we just found out about PAWs disposable reusable boots which stay on, are cheap, and can be replaced easily if lost. We had written about our quest for the perfect snow boot here.

We are actually going to have an exciting dog coat post coming up next week. What are some other cold-weather dog-walking tips you've found?
PS. The hat Miss M wears is actually from the kids' section at Old Navy. It has little pom poms at the bottom we secure and it stays on really well. We think it makes her look like an Ice Princess...in many ways.

18 comments:

Skinny Fat Kid said...

Izzy has a puffer vest I got her at Target, but I think its a tad too big. We only wear it in freezing rain or sleet.

I should get some of those flip top gloves. With our new training and constant hot dogs flying out of my pocket to reward good behavior, I spend so much time taking the gloves on and off.

HoundDogMom said...

So cute, but I know my Winston would not go outside dressed up. And Amiee freezes like a statue when we put clothes on her. But Bella loves to dress up and has a few coats. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

Rachel said...

Haha I love Miss M. What a cool hat!
Very nice to see the winter gear you use. I agree... With the right clothes it's not so bad being out. And personally I think most people choose to stay in during the winter so it means less crowded streets and trails for those of us who go out :-)

goosie mama said...

i cannot stop laughing about that hat! Miss M looks SO cute. I might have to get G one too! :)

In Black and White said...

I never heard of anyone using crampons before but that's genius! I don't have natural ice-walking skills as we just don't get that kind of weather where I'm from. I wear two pairs of gloves as I have hopeless circulation - a fingerless pair (elbow length for extra warmth) and a giant pair of mittens. I'd love to get Billy in a pair of boots that works but I don't have the $ to keep experimenting right now. I tried the disposables last year and they would end up shredded within a couple of walks.

The Heartbeats said...

I LOVE Miss M's hat. I think Calhoun needs one ASAP!

Mamma heartbeat

Froggy said...

Pug uses the PAWS on his back legs to protect his feet because he drags them and they are awesome. I haven't gotten them for Maize yet because they are a little difficult to put on and I dont think she would let me fiddle with her feet that much. I am still in search for booties for her....

Christine said...

Great tips. Before walks on cold days I also unroll and completely open up several poop bags and put them in my coat pocket so I don't have to take my gloves off on the walk. It is always a pain to open up those suckers with frozen fingers since the plastic seems to always stick to itself!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

I agree, those flip top gloves are key! I love Miss M's hat too.

A&A Friese said...

Crampons sound brilliant! We have a n a small arsenal of cold weather gear for both us and the pooches. Molly's hoodie and waterproof insulated gold paws jacket keep her toasty. And we finally caved and bought poor naked Brodie a cable knit turtleneck sweater :)

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

OKay now why on earth didnt I think of crampons! We got the texting gloves for Hanukkah and LOVE them. Game changers. Its been in the 50s and 60s here, so Im gonna hold off on my snowy clothes post!

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

AWESOME! Miss M rocks that hat. I just picked up some PAWZ booties for Parker, but since then it hasn't snowed one bit. I also use Musher's Secret for the dogs, because we are in the woods a lot and they paw pads get dry and cracked. I also use it on the bald tip of Skye's tail to keep it from drying out.

Kitty+Coco said...

The hat on Ms. M is fabulous! So totally hits her personality. Kudos to you guys for getting out in the snow. Thank goodness we don't have to do that here in Alabama!

Kitty+Coco

brooke said...

I LOVE Miss M's hat! So cute!

parlance said...

That's such an interesting post! I hadn't thought about how people keep their balance when walking on icy footpaths with dogs. Last time I was in Britain in the winter I was just terrified walking on icy paths (sidewalks), so I don't think I could in any way cope with taking a dog out in Chicago. But maybe if I had those crampons... On the other hand, I walked with crampons on a glacier in New Zealand and I was terrified and lock-kneed the whole time.

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

Oh Miss M....why do you hate me so? Just kidding, maybe. I tried my best to hide the hat photo from my mom, but she saw it and she LOVED it. She says she MUST find one for us. Ugggh!

You can't tell my mom...I think you are so very, very, very cute in that hat. If you tell I will deny everything. I think it's my absolute favorite picture.

As for the flip top gloves that is so clever. Mom definitely needs a pair of those because she has the same trouble when bagging our poo.

Emma

PeeS: That hat picture would make an awesome card. Can you imagine how many smiles that would make.

wewalkdogs said...
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castord hanna said...
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