Winter dog walking, how to do it, avoid it, get someone else to do it.Every year about this time as the weather cools down, sunlight gets shorter and the morning rains set in, I see less people visiting the dog parks. Especially in the southern cooler states of Australia.
Even the most dedicated dog owners can struggle to walk their dog every day whether through illness, job commitments or just dislike of the weather.
There are some sure fire way to keep your schedule going, for the sake of your dogs health.
1 If you are a dedicated on lead walker, your dog needs just as much time, actually a lot more, off lead. Off lead it runs further and learns to be social. Learns to be independent and gets very happy and satisfied in return.
Off lead walkers often get the 'sads' in winter too. Particularly if you have to get up extra early before a commute to work.
And this is perhaps where the challenge for real dog lovers comes in. REAL dog lovers endure these things for their dogs. Most dogs love the cooler wet weather anyway so its just us mammals that need to train ourselves. Get warm gear, wet weather gear, waterproof your boots.
2 If you can't or don't want to go every day, you should consider banding together with friends and other park goers to share the load. You don't have to go it all alone, but consider if you had three friends with similar sized and temperament dogs, you could essentially just go every third day with three dogs rather than every day with your own. How much easier that would be for most people?
3 If recruiting friends and family (for pocket money) doesn't work, then you still need to find a robust solution. Dogs that are walked off lead regularly, are much more balanced, happier, healthier in mind and body. They use all of their energy and are not bored and destructive at home. They become ideal family members, because they have got one of the simple things that is their rights as soon as you own them.
4 Since this is my profession, I don't think you should leave it as a last resort, but have you considered getting a professional dog walker to walk your dog? Even it you do it only a few times a week to take the pressure off yourself, most people find the cost incredibly good value.
Plus your dog will have a ready-made pack that it will travel with to the parks and will almost instantly get more confidence.
Once a person knows that their dogs will feel infinitely better from daily walks they will do anything to achieve them. The biggest issue is getting people to witness the difference and believe enough to effect change.
Most people forget that dogs are mostly of European descent. That many were bred to endure the cold. As long as you dry them off and they have somewhere warm to be after their walk the coldness of Australia is but a walk in the park for most dogs !