We know many people on the brink of dog-ownership--especially living in the city without a backyard--question if they can commit the time for daily walks.
Especially when these walks involve snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures.
We have been learning a lot about how to gear up to get us all through the winter. Here are some things we've learned to make our walks more time-efficient, especially for those before-work walks.
Dressing the Dogs Quickly:
Our dogs won't go out in the cold unless they're all bundled up. And seeing how we're often layering hoodies with coat and snoods and boots, it can take some extra time.
Our pups definitely need the layers for our longer family walks and SociaBulls, but for our quick before-work walks they are fine just wearing a coat. (Though I will add a snood for subzero temperatures). We make things easy by having a really organized system we wrote about here.
If it's just snow out, the pooches don't need their boots. But we need to put boots on them if it's icy outside. A lot of people don't shovel their walks and the ice and salt hurts the pooches' paws.
It takes a bit more time to put the the boots on both of the pups (we wrote about teaching our pups to wear boots, here) but it makes things quicker when we get back since we do wipe our dogs paws each time they come in. We don't need to really wipe their feet if they've worn the boots.
We also think the boots are much quicker than using Musher's Paws which seems to get messy.
Preparing for the Elements:
One big thing that slows us down is navigating over the ice, especially since a lot of people still don't shovel their sidewalks. After a couple of slow walks, and falls, E and I both brought crampons which allow us to walk over ice as swiftly as water spiders. We like the Icetrekkers Shoe Diamond Grip Crampons which are a bit more, but we have never had a fall.
The other thing that slows us down is trying to get the poo bags out of the dispenser, even with my flip-top gloves. I've learned to pull out a few bags and open them when we're still inside, which definitely does save a lot of time and involves less exposed skin in cold weather.
Preparing the People:
I do miss our warmer weather walks where I can just slip on a pair of flip-flops and head out the door with the pups. So we also prepare to bundle ourselves.
For our before-work walks, we each have a specific pair of boots by the door that we can slip on easily and wear without searching for socks.
We have a system of keeping our coats, flip-top gloves, and city dog bag right next to the door with the leashes.
With all of this preparation, our morning walks are only about 30 minutes.
Just curious, how much time do you spend getting your pups ready in the morning before work? And does anyone else have tips to make it quicker?
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