Taking your Dog for a Walk During the Autumn

One of the foremost duties of any dog owner is taking the dog for regular walks.This means at least once a day, for long enough that the dog is visibly tired and, if possible, longer walks at weekends, too.But walking the dog during autumn and winter is not quite as straightforward as it is during the summer – there are a few challenges to contend with and solving those challenges sometimes requires a little bit of guile, or a little bit of technology.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which you can make your dog-walking life just that little bit easier in the months ahead.

Dealing with darkness

One of the most glaring problems faced by those walking their dog during the latter portion of the year is that the daylight hours are growing increasingly slimmer.If you’ve nine-to-five job, then you might find yourself arriving back at the house under cover of darkness, which means that you’ll have to contend with night-time walking.

Fortunately, there exist a raft of technological solutions to minimise the risk that this poses to you and your dog.If you’re out in the country, then you’ll certainly have to equip yourself with a decent torch if you’re to go walking away from streetlights.The tiny torch on your phone is just not up to the task, so invest instead in more substantial portable lighting.It’s worth keeping a spare set of batteries in your coat pocket, too.

You might also consider smaller touches – reflective clothing and arm-bands can be a hugely effective safety feature if you’re walking at night time.You can also buy reflective collars for your dog, too, ensuring that neither of you will take an oncoming vehicle by surprise.The declining price of LED technology has brought about new types of hi-vis collars and clothing, ensuring that you and your dog can be spotted from afar even without the aid of another light-source.

Dealing with dirt

If cold and darkness are the most obvious problems for dog walkers at this time of year, then dirt is surely a close third – particularly for those that live in the countryside.The arrival of autumn means more rainfall and less sunlight, which in turn means a muddier walking surface, which in turn means more dirt on your dog’s paws and fur.This means that you’ll have to get into the habit of wiping their feet before you come back into the house.Another alternative is to buy a specially designed mat to solve the problem.

If you’re taking your dog further afield, then you may decide to bundle them into the back of the car.During autumn and winter time, this presents a problem – after all, you don’t want the boot of your nice new hatchback to be covered in muddy paw prints and loose fur.This is where installing a boot protector becomes advisable.This is a sheet of material which sits inside your boot, thereby shielding it from your dog.It can be removed and laundered easily and is therefore far preferable to having to conduct regular valets!

Car boot liners come in many different forms.The cheaper sort consist of little more than a sheet of fabric – the protection they provide is minimal.It’s often better to invest long-term in a specially fitted, substantial one.These are specially designed to fit snugly into the boot of a given car.Ford, Subaru and Range Rover boot liners are all available, along with hundreds of others.

Environmental hazards

Autumn is a good time to begin thinking about the potential hazards that the cold weather might bring about.Perhaps the most egregious of these is antifreeze, which is sweet-tasting to dogs and highly poisonous and can collect beneath leaky cars.It’s actually a variety of alcohol, which means that dogs find it delicious – and so if you’re walking near parked cars, make sure that you prevent your dog from going sniffing about beneath them.Poisonous varieties of wildflower might also pose a threat, so make sure that your dog does not eat them, either.Piles of leaves and rotten wood can be a home for a variety of harmful microbes and so it’s also worth ensuring that your dog avoids them.

Finally, it’s worth also considering the decline in temperatures.If your dog is of a short-haired variety, they might feel the cold more than most.It’s therefore worth considering buying them a little jacket, in order to ensure that they’re as comfortable as can be while out and about.