When is it too cold to walk your dog in Birmingham as snow forecast for West Midlands

As the Met Office issues a yellow weather warning for snow in the West MIdlands here’s some advice on when you can walk your dog
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A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for snow in the West Midlands this week - with the white stuff forecast to fall in Birmingham.

With temperatures expected to fall below freezing during the week, dog owners may be concerned about walking their pets in the chilly weather.

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We’ve taken a look at the latest advice on walking dogs as the winter temperatures dip with the general advice being that it is safe to take your dog for a walk - but with caveats involved ahead of walkies.

“You absolutely should walk your dog in winter” writes Lords and Labradors regarding the query. “Walking is an excellent source of exercise for your dog, but also a way for them to experience the wonderful smells of the world around them. They get to socialise with other dogs, have some bonding time with their owner and wear themselves out ready for a cosy night by the fire.”

But they do recommend however certain conditions are preferred during the sub-zero temperatures. A crisp, sunny day with very little breeze despite the temperature is ideal compared to a wet, windy or stormy day. Weather conditions including hail, low fog or mist which provide hazardous conditions in the first place might warrant hanging up the dog lead and staying indoors instead.  

As for dogs feeling the effects of Jack Frost this year, the website also states that dropping temperatures should not deter people from walking their dogs. “A walk is likely one of the highlights of your dog’s day (besides dinner time) so if they’re happy to go out in the cold, you should be happy to take them,” they remind dog owners.

Walking your dog in the cold weather adviceWalking your dog in the cold weather advice
Walking your dog in the cold weather advice
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However those looking to walk their dogs during the arctic blast may want to consider walking in the mid-morning or early afternoon when temperatures are not at their lowest. It also allows for any salt that has been spread to grit roads and footpaths to be “swept aside” and prevent irritating dog paws.

They also suggested smaller dogs may benefit from wearing a coat as they are more likely to experience the cold compared to bigger breeds and if it is particularly treacherous conditions to skip the marathon walks and instead take shorter walks - around 20 minutes for smaller breeds up to 30 minutes for medium to larger sized dogs.

“Small dogs are more vulnerable in the cold, whereas bigger dogs can withstand lower temperatures. Do keep this in mind when taking your furry friend for a walk, and avoid walking any dog when temperatures drop below -10℃, even if they’re wearing a coat” Lords and Labradors recommend.

“For puppies and older dogs, it’s better to exercise a little bit more caution, as they could be more vulnerable to the cold too. If you’re at all unsure, it’s probably best to keep them in,” they conclude.

What does the Dogs Trust say about winter walks?

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The UK’s leading dog welfare charity, The Dogs Trust, has also issued advice for looking after dogs during the cold weather. They remind owners that it’s important to make sure their pets are visible to other dog owners and people in cars in the dark, so get a coat with hi-vis reflective features, or carry a flashlight.

Coats can also keep dogs warm, although they may need to be introduced to this in a gradual and positive way if they are not used to wearing one. You can read the full advice here and hear more in our video at the top of the story. 

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