The dog owner's winter guide

Many people have now hunkered down to winter and be thinking the last thing they want to do is take the dog for a  walk. You may have had all the intentions to take your dog for a walk the other day but found it (as I did the other day) -1C and absolutely freezing. However, the downside is if I don't take them for a walk my two dogs will just get into trouble.

So what do you need to consider for your dog this time of year and how do you handle it?

Cold: Yes it is cold but, unlike people, most dogs come with an impressive waterproof layer keeping them fairly snug. If you have a dog without that fur coat, maybe invest in one.

Darkness: You can get blinking lights for your dogs so that when they're off lead you can see them if it's too dark. But at this time of year, make sure you can see your dog at all times as, believe it or not, their vision is not excellent in the dark.

Exercise: You need to get out at this time of year to keep your dog sane. As great as I am sure your view is, nothing compares to getting out and smelling the roses. Enjoy it and take your gloves and beanie and have some fun.

Snow: Your dogs will love snow and depending on how they cope you can even buy little bootees. This is great if you plan to go skiing this year with your dogs (yes, some local mountains let you bring your dog).

Most of all have some fun and keep safe out there this winter.

Simon Goodall is CEO of Dog Guru Ltd, a nationwide dog training company. 

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