Extreme Weather Policy
We do our best to ensure that your dog is walked regardless of the weather, however, there are times during the winter and summer, especially when it is dangerous, unsafe and irresponsible to venture out. We reserve the right to cancel or shorten walks accordingly or provide your dog with garden visits. We will, of course, keep you informed at all times.
Walking in hail can be painful on the dog’s feet and the body and head. Some dogs find the noise and sensation quite frightening, especially if hail is accompanied by thunder and lightning. While hail is generally short-lived, this might result in delaying the start, or cutting short the duration of the walk.
Apart from being quite cold for your dog, snowballs into the dog’s fur, particularly around the stomach, chest and paw area. Snow clumping in their pads can be very painful for a dog, and in the coat can pull and cause discomfort.
By its nature, black ice can be hard to spot. Areas suffering from black ice are incredibly slippery, making the walk dangerous. A person slipping with a dog on a lead could result in the dog being pulled over or fallen onto on by the person. Black ice impedes travelling and sometimes even getting to your home can be too risky, so again, we may need to cancel a walk in this circumstance.
One of the most significant risks of walking in high winds is flying and falling debris. Ordinary household items like recycling bins, roof tiles, etc., can all become missiles that could hit your dog. Falling trees and branches are also a risk. Small dogs often struggle to stay on their feet during very high winds, so an exercise session in the garden under close supervision, to ensure no accidents happen, could be the safest option during periods of extremely windy weather.
While heat may not be considered extreme in the UK, there are still occasions where it would be irresponsible to take your dog out for a walk.
Nordic breeds such as Malamutes and Huskies can really find the heat challenging to cope with, and their coat is not suitable for clipping, as it provides a valuable layer. Other breeds with particularly heavy and/or black coats may also struggle on a walk-in high temperature. Brachycephalic dogs, those with flat faces and short noses such as Pugs and French bulldogs, struggle to breathe correctly when trying to walk in extremes of heat.
All breeds are in danger from pavement walking as asphalt can soar to temperatures severe enough to burn their footpads. A rule of thumb is whether you can stand barefoot on the tarmac for over 5 seconds (or use the back of your hand). In these cases, it is safer for your dog to be kept to a short walk or taken into the garden and given the opportunity to drink fresh water. Should we experience heatwave conditions, both dogs and humans are at risk of collapse from heat exhaustion. In this situation, consideration and care would be taken all round, and the walk cancelled where needed.
Updated January 2022