Dos and Don’ts For Spring Walks With Your Dog


When the spring weather finally arrives, you may be excited to head outdoors with your dog for some fun, fresh air, and healthy exercise. But before you do, we have some tips to help you enjoy a springtime walk with your pet while avoiding the potential seasonal hazards.


DO talk to your veterinarian about heartworm and flea and tick preventive medications. Depending on where you live, parasite season has been extended, putting your pet at risk earlier in the spring and for longer durations throughout the year. Be sure your pet is protected before heading outdoors.

DO Keep your pet on a leash and avoid letting him/her near rivers, lakes, and streams. In addition to the waters being too cold, putting your pet at risk of hypothermia, fast-moving currents can pull your dog under the water. Ice and/or rough waters can make it difficult for your pet to come up for air, putting his/her life at serious risk. In some cases, results can be fatal.

DO pay attention to your dog’s physical health and energy needs and only stay outdoors for as long as it is safe for your pet. Puppies can tolerate only 5 minutes per month of age, so at three months old, walk him/her up to 15 minutes and no more. Senior pets, dogs living with pain and mobility issues, brachycephalic pets, and those having heart or respiratory disease, should not overexert themselves. Talk to a veterinarian about the special needs of your pet.

DO enjoy time with your dog outdoors. After the cold winter months, your dog will be excited to get outside, take in the fresh air, and smell the smells of spring. Just be sure to watch out for wildlife. Dogs with a high prey drive are inclined to chase animals, but it is not advised to permit this behaviour, as doing so can put your pet and wildlife in danger. Many diseases, including rabies, are zoonotic, meaning they can be passed to various animal species.

DO keep a supply of clean towels near the door so you can wipe off your pet’s paws when you get home from your walk. Melting snow and rain can make for muddy walks with your pet.

DO keep a supply of clean towels near the door so you can wipe off your pet’s paws when you get home from your walk. Melting snow and rain can make for muddy walks with your pet.


DON’T take your dog, especially a young puppy, to the dog park or anywhere near other animals, until he/she has had all the necessary vaccines. Doing so can put your pet in danger of contracting a number of diseases, including the canine parvovirus infection—a serious and highly contagious disease dogs can pass to one another. The disease is transmitted through contact with an infected dog’s feces and often leads to fatal outcomes.

DON’T let your dog drink from puddles. Still waters and dirty puddles are filled with all kinds of germs, bacteria, and parasites harmful to pets. Giardi are parasites, protozoa, lurking in waters contaminated with feces, and if ingested by your pet can cause serious illness and diarrhea. Antibiotics can be effective in treating the parasite but severe cases may require hospitalization.

DON’T allow your dog to pick up anything off the ground. Once the snow melts, all sort of things that have been hidden beneath it for months are suddenly revealed. In spring, the ground becomes covered with risks to your pet—dropped objects that pose choking hazards and potential blockages in the digestive tract, garbage and feces containing harmful bacteria, cigarette butts filled with dangerous toxins, and plastics bags that may cause suffocation—to name a few.

DON’T let your dog chew on any spring flowers. In addition to the risk of allergic reactions, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, many flowers that bloom in the spring are highly toxic to pets. Contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic/poisonous plant or flower.

DON’T put away your dog’s winter coat/sweater and boots yet. Spring weather can be unpredictable. Another snowstorm could be on the way, and it is best to be ready, so you can keep your pet safe from the elements.



We recommend you also read:

Spring Safety: Top 10 Seasonal Risks to Pets

Top 10 Spring Flowers Toxic to Pets

Spring Pet Care: Seasonal Allergy Alert

Pet Safety: Spring-Cleaning the Garage


We do not intend this to be a substitute for medical advice.


Any mention of products or services on our blog is strictly for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement.


Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written consent, is strictly prohibited.