If it is too cold to walk your dog outside, here’s what you can do

If your dog gets excited by the sight of his or her leash — even in the middle of winter — you might be looking for alternative ways to get in its daily walk.

Whether that’s because cold weather can pose serious threats to your pet’s health, or simply because it is just too cold to fully enjoy a walk with your furry friend, the cold weather may discourage you from picking up a leash.

Avoiding cold walks

To escape the cold when walking your dog, you might consider walking through one of several Wichita businesses that allow pets inside.

Whether your dog wants to walk the aisles of pet stores like PetSmart or Petco, or walk laps around the perimeter of Lowe’s, your dog can walk through several Wichita shops that allow well-behaved and leashed pets through their doors.

Some of those stores include Pottery Barn, Old Navy, Johnson’s Garden Center and Academy Sports.

Enjoying cold walks safely

If walking indoors is just not enough for you or your dog, Cimarron Animal Hospital in Wichita recommends shortening outdoor walks when it is cold outside.

However, even a short walk in freezing temperatures can injure your pet, including cracked paw pads that may begin bleeding.

“During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes,” the American Veterinary Medical Association said.

While on walks outside, a dog’s feet, legs and belly may also pick up deicers, antifreeze or other toxic chemicals, so the association recommends wiping down your pet when you get back inside — and before your furry friend begins licking his or her feet and fur.

You can also have your pets wear booties to protect their paws, in addition to a sweater or coat if your dog has short fur or is bothered by cold weather.

While walking outside, the association also advises that you avoid frozen water, as it may not be strong enough to support your dog’s weight.

“If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia,” the association said.

Kaitlyn Alanis: 316-269-6708, @kaitlynalanis

Stores that allow dogs inside

Nearly all local and national pet stores allow dogs. Most restaurants and breweries with outdoor patios allow them there. And nearly all businesses that allow pets require that they are well-behaved and leashed.

Here are some dog-friendly stores you might not know about.


Lowe’s, 333 S. Ridge Road, 11959 E. Kellogg, 2626 N. Maize Road: The national home improvement store clarified its dog policy last year. It now reads, “Well-behaved, leashed, harnessed or carried service animals and pets are welcome in all U.S. Lowe’s stores. Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets.”

Pottery Barn, 2040 N. Rock Road: The store, which has a Wichita location in Bradley Fair, 21st and Rock, allows pets.

Old Navy, 2441 N. Maize Road: The clothing store has an “open-door policy” to pets, said a Wichita employee. The Old Navy in Towne East follows the mall’s policy and allows only service animals.

Bed, Bath & Beyond, 2750 N. Greenwich, 2441 N. Maize Road: Lots of customers cart little dogs around in their baskets, a local employee said.

Academy Sports, 2540 N. Greenwich, 2710 N. Maize Road


Fetch Bistro, 7718 E. 37th St. North

Star Lumber, 325 S. West St.

Espresso to Go Go, 102 S. St. Francis, 120 E. First St.

86 Cold Press, 612 E. Douglas

Johnson’s Garden Center, 2707 W. 13th St., 6225 E. Shadybrook

The Workroom, 150 N. Cleveland

Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwich

Hopping Gnome Brewing, 1710 E. Douglas

Starlite Drive-In, 3900 S. Hydraulic