A lot of dogs enjoy a good romp in the snow. Watch them act like puppies again, running with their faces snowplowing through the snow, rolling around in it and sliding down hills.
But even dogs that don’t like the snow need to get outside during the winter. Whether your dog enjoys frolicking in the snow or hates the white fluffy stuff, here are a few tips and tricks to make winter explorations and walks safe.
Dogs Can Get Cold
Just because he’s wearing a fur coat doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t get cold. When your dog is playing and having a good time, he doesn’t realize how cold he’s getting. You need to be alert to subtle signs he’s starting to freeze. Shivering, trying to head for home, lifting his feet, and cowering can all mean you need to get your dog home and warmed up immediately.
Like people, different dogs have different tolerances for the cold. Fortunately, there are a variety of sweaters, coats, and vests that you can get for your dog to keep him warm. With fleece sweaters and vests from Ruffwear, rainwear from RC Pets, and even puffy coats from Canada Pooch, you’re sure to find something that helps keep you dog comfortable.
Paws Need Special Protection
Pay attention to your furry friend’s paws. Crusty snow can cut paws or paws can easily get cold and chapped. If you live in an urban area, you might think a cleared sidewalk would be easier on paws; but most ice melt and salt is abrasive and can be painful for your dog to walk on.
Safe Paw Ice Melt is a dog-safe snow melt option you can use on your own driveway and sidewalk.
Boots are another option for your dog to protect his feet from not only ice melt but the cold and snow as well. Pawz Boots are disposable, stretchy rubber boots that come in a multi-pack that are easy to slip on and will protect paws not only from cold but from hot summer pavement as well.
If your dog doesn’t like boots, try using Musher’s Secret. This balm bonds with your dog’s paws and protects your furry friend’s feet from salt, snow, ice and cold without boots.
Winter also means shorter days and earlier sunsets. On a gray winter’s day, dusk can settle in almost without warning, making it harder to see your dog. Help your dog be more visible with collar light options from Nite-Ize.
Warm Him Up Once He’s Inside
Take some time once you get back home with your dog to help him warm up. Brush all the snow from his fur. Check his feet carefully and get all the snow out from between his toes. Dry his feet if they are wet and spend a few minutes warming them with your hands if they feel cold to the touch.
His ear flaps may also get cold. Again, if they feel cold to the touch, warm them by gently pressing them between your hands. Be careful not to rub them: if you rub too vigorously, it can hurt a cold ear.
Warm him up on the inside with The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth. This tasty treat will not only help warm your friend up, it also contains ingredients that help promote joint health.
Keep Him Safe While You Travel
If you’re traveling with your dog this holiday, plan your trip with him in mind. Allow for stops every couple of hours so he can relieve himself and stretch his legs. Bring plenty of food and water for him: dogs can have problems with water from different areas the same way some people do.
Bring a bed and some toys for him, so he has some familiar items with him. If he is crate-trained, be sure to bring it along. If possible, let him travel in his crate: it will protect him and other passengers in the car, and make the trip easier on him.
If he doesn’t have a crate to travel in, consider other options for keeping him contained in the car. A Kurgo Booster Seat will allow your dog to look out the window while keeping him safe. For larger dogs, consider a Ruffwear Load-up Travel Harness to secure your dog while you travel.
Winter is a fun time for people and their dogs. If you take a few precautions and stay alert to what your dog tells you, you and he can have a lot of fun playing in the snow.