Freezing temperatures, snow blanketing the ground, and icy sidewalks... It must be winter! As a dog owner, there are precautions you should take to keep your buddy warm, healthy, and safe during these cold months. Of course, all dogs are different. Bigger dogs will jump at the chance to roll around in fresh snow while a small dog may refuse to go outside for more than five minutes. Ultimately, you will know what’s best for your dog but keep the following tips in mind for pups of all sizes, no matter where you live and what kind of weather you experience during the winter:
1. Bundle up: Though your dog already has a natural coat, their fur is similar to us wearing a light jacket or sweatshirt out in a blizzard which we know is not adequate especially when temperatures start to reach the freezing point. A good dog coat or sweater should reach from your pup’s neck to the base of their tail and also cover their belly.
2. Limit time outdoors: When the temperature starts to dip, take care in limiting the amount of time your dog spends outside. Even if they are wearing a cozy coat or sweater, frostbite can easily reach their ears, paws, and tail. Watch out for signs such as shivering, whimpering, or if they appear to be anxious. For those cold days spent indoors, help keep your buddy entertained with a mentally stimulating puzzle or toy like our dog rope toy set.
3. Protect their paws: While a coat or sweater will help keep your pooch warm, their paws are still exposed so consider dog booties or socks to protect their paws from the cold as well as winter salt which is toxic and can burn their pads. If you opt to skip the booties, be sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when you come back inside so they don’t lick off any salt they may have collected. Dogs with extra furry feet should be groomed regularly, trimming the fur in between the pads to prevent any ice or salt build-up.
4. Be careful around heaters:Some dogs will try to beat the chill by snuggling up nice and close to a source of heat, including space heaters, radiators, and fireplaces. Be sure to take measures to prevent potential burning by placing the space heater where they can’t reach it and putting a pet-proofing solution into place for radiators and fireplaces.
Taking these steps will help you and your dog make the most of the winter months, including some snuggle time, which is a great way for everyone to stay warm!