Are you worried about your senior dog slipping on the ice this winter and keeping him from getting the movement and enrichment that walks provide?

Natural light portrait of senior German Shepherd dog looking at camera

Here are some helpful products that can help your mobility challenged pet be safer on slippery surfaces such as ice and snow-covered stairs:

  • Traction booties- found in pet stores or on Amazon
  • Harnesses and slings
  • Folded bath towels- looped just in front of their hind legs
  • Reusable grocery bag- with sides cut out (keeping the handles) under their belly
  • Padded sling with leash- from gingerlead.com or www.chewy.com
  • Help ‘Em Up Harness- helpemup.com or 720-237-6852
  • Toe nail caps
  • Buzby’s ToeGrips- www.toegrips.com or 843-694-4468
  • Soft Claws Nail Caps for Dogs- chewy.com
  • Paw Pads Self Adhesive Traction Pads- inthecompanyofdogs.com

Tips for Senior Pet Mobility this Winter

Snow Walks

Try to let your pet walk on a couple inches of snow versus the slick sidewalk. This also helps them from the exposure of ice melting chemicals. Watch where you are going to avoid icier areas. Remember to wipe off their feet when you are done with your walk to remove any melting chemicals that can cause burns or are toxic when licked.

Man walking a dog in a winter park

Trim Nails and Check Between Toes

Make sure the hair between their toes isn’t so long it accumulates ice balls which are painful and result in poor traction. Completely clipping out the hair may result in a loss of insulation to the cold. Find that happy medium with your dog’s individual tolerance to the cold and its hair coat. Also, Feet with regularly trimmed nails have better traction than overly long nails.

SONY DSCFrench bulldog in red jacket on the walk in winter forest

Take Time to Enjoy the Walk with Your Best Friend

Don’t rush the walk because you haven’t dressed properly. Dress warm so your pet can take their time navigating the terrain and for their comfort level. You may just want to keep distances a little shorter to accommodate for time spent outside if they are going to walk slower.

Black and white cat in snow storm

Support Your Companion

If it looks like your pooch may slip, don’t tug on the leash to try to correct their balance. Instead, gently move your leg towards them and they may be able to use it to brace against. Helpful hint: Try not to fall on your dog in the process.

Un regard émotif d'un border collie sous la neige, dans une ambiance bleue et froide

Add Some Adventure

Many older dogs just love being outside and need it for their mental health.  Even if conditions aren’t great for a walk around the neighborhood, or your pet now struggles getting around the block, accompanying them out on the porch or taking a brief walk down your driveway can be enough to enrich and add adventure to their day.

A happy mautre Golden Retriever dog has stopped long enough to look intently at an animal that has crossed his path.  He appears to be on a mission and is photographed in late afternoon light, giving his red coat a soft shimmer.  There is plenty of co

We hope that you can enjoy a happy and safe winter walking with your senior pets. We live in a bautiful state, and your grey muzzled furry friends will thank you for making the effort to get outside.

Written by: Dr. Megan Coveyou, Caring Pathways Veterinarian

Dr. Megan grew up in Wisconsin where she earned her DVM at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. She spent many years in the Chicago area practicing sport horse medicine. Megan moved to Colorado in 2015 and found her calling with Caring Pathways. She is in love with the sacred bond we form with our furry soulmates and cherishes their lives from the exciting hello to the bitter-sweet goodbye. Click here to read Dr. Megan's full bio.

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