Make sure your pup is prepared for harsh conditions this winter, whether it’s outside playtime or a quick walk.
It’s good to remember that different dogs have different needs, but these 12 cold weather tips will help keep every dog safe this winter.
1. A coat, huh, huh.
If your dog doesn’t have a natural winter coat like a husky or newfly, wrap this puppy up! Find a jacket that will keep you warm without restricting your movements.
2. Keep your ears dry.
You don’t need earmuffs for him, but if your dog is playing in the snow, be sure to dry his ears when he comes in to avoid ear infections.
3. The bedding inside the house is thick.
A slight draft probably won’t bother you, but it can endanger smaller or thinner dogs. Give them the chance to slip into the soft, snug blanket.
4. Proper paw care.
If your dog refuses to wear booties, make sure to trim the fur on their paws. Hair gets wet and freezes in the snow, or hair stays cold and damp indoors. Keep it short and clean. But not too short.
5. Proper paw care. (city puppy)
City dogs may need lip balm to treat the effects of salty sidewalks. Vaseline works, but don’t let them lick it! At a minimum, dogs exposed to large amounts of salt should have their paws cleaned regularly to prevent chronic dryness.
6. Avoid the use of salt and de-icing agents whenever possible.
Not only is salt bad for dogs’ paws, but it can also be toxic to their systems if ingested. The same goes for chemical deicers used to defrost sidewalks or car windows. Be aware of the treatment area and keep your pup away.
7. Hydrate your dog.
Wearing extra clothing in the winter means your dog will need to drink extra water. If not, staying hydrated is still important to your dog’s ability to regulate its own body temperature. And use plastic bowls outside. Metal bowls can freeze and be a hazard to your dog’s tongue.
8. Brush your dog.
Brushing off the old coat will allow the fuller coat to grow back. Lumpy, dull fur is not as insulating as a clean coat and takes longer to dry.
9. Limit the time you spend outdoors.
Your pup might get carried away with making snow angels, so it’s up to you, not them, to decide when to come in and warm up the pup. This prevents frostbite and hypothermia.
10. Extra Treats.
that’s right. Your dog uses more calories to keep warm, especially when he’s playing outside. So go ahead and give them some extra treats to keep their energy levels up. After the new year, you can both go on a diet.
11. Hot spots.
Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors should have a warm shelter. Insulate their kennel or buy them one that’s built for the cold.
12. Know your race.
Depending on the breed, some dogs need more grooming than others in the winter. Learn about your dog’s special needs.