For those living in or traveling to cold winter climates, these quick tips are essential! Safety is paramount, particularly during winter when temperatures can drop to dangerous levels.
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1. Protect their paws from snow and ice buildup
When dogs have long fur on their paws they are more likely to get snow and ice buildup in between their paw pads. Trimming their fur can help to prevent this.
Also, allowing your dog to go outside with wet or damp paws will cause ice buildup on their paws. This can happen if you let your dog outside, then bring them inside to warm up for a minute or two and then let them back out without drying their paws in between.
Another option is to get snow booties for your dog to wear when you're outside.
2. Protect their paws from sidewalk salt/ice melt
Sidewalks and roads are salted with ice melt most of the season.
Remember, you have shoes on but your dog doesn't. While it doesn't phase you to walk on sidewalk salt it will cause problems for your dog.
Some dogs can experience a burning sensation from the ice melt which we of course want to prevent.
Another reason to protect your dog's paws from the ice melt is that it's a chemical your dog is absorbing through their paws and ingesting when they lick their paws.
The best way to protect against this is to put snow boots on your dog.
I often hear about a dog not wanting to wear boots, which is understandable. But at the same time, this is something that requires patience and training.
Work with your dog to get them use to wearing the boots before the snow or cold comes that way when it does happen your pup will be comfortable wearing their booties.
If your dog is a snow loving breed and doesn't get cold paws you can use a product like Musher's Secret Paw Balm to protect their paws from salt and ice build up.
3. Keep your dog warm inside
Some dogs just really aren't meant for cold weather and are cold even inside their homes.
Make your home as comfortable as possible for your dog during this time. This doesn't mean you have to crank up the heat.
Dog sweaters are an easy way to add some warmth to your dog. But don't leave any apparel on your dog unattended.
There are also burrow beds you can purchase. These are beds that have a sheet going over the top that is connected on all sides except one so that your dog can go underneath the sheet and curl up to stay warm. The sheet on top helps to trap your dog's body heat. And these beds come in a large variety of sizes.
They even make heated dog beds now!
4. Limit outside time
Believe it or not, dogs can actually suffer from frostbite. Especially on the more sensitive areas or areas with less fur like their ears, nose, or tips of their tails.
During the colder days limit the amount of time your dog is outside.
Of course there is a bit of an exception for double coated dogs like huskies who were built for cold weather. But still, don't leave them out for longer than necessary.
5. Keep your dog's age in mind
Just like people, young dogs and older dogs have a hard time regulating their body temperature. So even if the weather isn't extreme, it may be a good idea to keep puppies and senior dogs indoors more often during the colder months.
If you found this helpful, please share it with your dog loving friends so they can keep their dog safe during winter.