Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Walking Your JRT in the Elements

When we take or companions for a walk, in most cases the elements only come into play with how hot or how cold the air is.  Most owners do not stop to consider there are other factors that impact your JRT that may not come to mind when you go on your walks.

In this article, we will examine some of the issues that arise when you take your JRT for a walk in the elements, from season to season.

       Jack Russell, Terrier, Dog, Animal, Pet, Snout, Cute

The first season we will examine is summer. 

There are several things to keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors with your JRT during this time.
                     Best time for activity is early morning or late at night—these are the best times of the day for the coolest weather.  Keep this in mind, especially during the hottest part of the season, and take advantage of the cooler hours so that both you and your JRT can better enjoy your outside activities.

                      Use doggie boots—JRT’s, like most canines, absorb and expel heat through their feet.  If they are walking on the hot pavement or sidewalks, they are at risk of absorbing significant amounts of heat, which and lead to all kinds of health problems.  The use of doggie booties will add a layer of insulation and protection when walking on hot surfaces. 
                 Codie, Dog, Companion, Canine, Animal, Friend, Doggy       

                   Watch for signs of dehydration—make sure you keep an eye on your JRT for signs of dehydration.  Dehydration is a serious problem and in some case become a matter of life and death.  Always have water available during the hot months, and make sure to take some along on your walks in case you do not have access to any.  Better to be safe than sorry.
                     Keep your JRT cool—other than having water readily available, other methods of keeping your JRT cool are: walking during the cooler hours, letting your JRT take a swim, or taking a walk break and sitting under a shade tree. 
                     Let your JRT dig—in nature canines dig for a multitude of reasons: for fun, for exercise, for hunting, for making a den to give birth—but they also dig so that they can use the earth to keep cool.  So, on your next walk, if your JRT indicates a need to dig, allow them too. It is their nature, and they know it is a way of cooling them off.

          Stay close to home—when the temperature is high, it is best to take a route that keeps you close to home.  Short, little walks are much better in hot weather rather than long, strenuous walks.  If you stay close to home, then when you and your JRT begin to feel tired, and even overheated, you will not have as far to go to get into a much cooler, relaxed environment. 

       Dog, Jack Russell, Terrier, View, Pet

The winter season can pose various problems for your JRT as well. 
          Trim their nails—make sure that you keep your JRT’s nails trimmed.  When walking well-trimmed nails will give your JRT more traction, and thus make their walking experience safer.

          Use a backpack—a very un-thought of but useful trick is to put a backpack on your JRT.  This will provide a slight bit of extra added incentive to not dawdle and goof off during potty breaks.  It will also help to *burn off* some of that extra energy that the winter time months seem to produce.

          Check their paws—make sure that you check all four paws very often.  With the winter dry months they have a tendency crack and become tender just like our hands and fingers do.  Also, when walking avoid areas that have been salted, as this will aid in the drying out and cracking of the paws.

                     Jack Russell, Dog, Terrier  

          Prevent pulling—anytime you walk your JRT you want to prevent the habit of them pulling on the leash.  However, during the winter time walks, this is even more important.  If your JRT is pulling on the leash and hits a patch of ice, the result could prove painful for them, as well as possibly to you.  Avoid pulling to begin with, for safety sake.
          Wear a sweater—many JRT’s tend to get cold easy and as result may rush their potty break to get in out of the cold.  The use of a pet sweater may help to prevent the shortening of outside jaunts, and on your winter walks will more than aid in keeping the chilly weather out.

          Don’t push—know your JRT’s limits.  It is best not to push them and try to get them to do more than they are comfortable with.  They will let you know when they have reached their limit, and it is best to know the signs and abide by them

As long as you follow the above suggestions and allow common sense to prevail, your walks with your JRT should be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience for you both.

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