Let’s face it: winter weather is tough. Whether you’re simply facing colder temperatures or battling with snow and ice, winter is difficult on us all–and that includes our dogs. When you are walking your dog in the winter, Here are 10 tips to make sure you and your dog are walking in a winter wonderland that’s safe for your dog:
We all want to stay active in the winter but, if the temperature is too cold for us, it’s too cold for our dogs. That means we need to bundle up and take extra precautions to keep our dogs safe during these winter days. Protecting your dog’s back and belly with a sweater or coat can help hold in that body heat, just as our own coats do for us.
Bring the Booties
We wouldn’t step outside in the winter without our shoes, so why should our dogs? Booties not only protect your dog’s paws from cold pavement, ice and snow, but also from dangerous de-icing chemicals. If your dog has a difficult time accepting booties, see the Snuggy Boots system for holding your dog’s booties, much like mitten clips hold your child’s mittens.
Skip the Salt
Avoid salted areas (and all de-icing chemicals). If your dog does walk through chemically-treated areas without booties protecting his paws, be sure to wash his paws thoroughly.
Eyes Out for Antifreeze
Antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs-and, unfortunately, also very appealing due to its sweet taste. Watch for puddles of antifreeze and steer your dog clear!
Trim Between Toes
The fur between your dog’s toes can hold painful balls of ice as well as de-icing chemicals. Keep paw fur trimmed short to make cleanup easy.
Don’t Get Lost
A blanket of snow on the ground makes it tougher for dogs to find their way by scent. Keep your dog on leash or invest in a GPS tracker so that you can track your dog with your smartphone.
Watch for Frostbite
Freezing temperatures puts extremities at risk; areas like unprotected ear tips are especially vulnerable. Limit the time your dog is outside in freezing temperatures and watch for white or blue skin.
Head off Hypothermia
A drop in your dog’s core temperature means dangerous hypothermia. Senior dogs, dogs with short coats, and very young puppies are especially susceptible. If you suspect your dog may have hypothermia, call your veterinarian.
Watch for Balls of Ice
When you return home after a winter walk, check between your dog’s toes if he’s not wearing booties. Painful balls of snow and ice can hide between paw pads, attached to fur.
Moisturize Paw Pads
As with our own skin, your dog’s paw pads become dry and can crack due to winter weather. Be sure to moisturize your dog’s paw pads to prevent painful cracking.
This post is sponsored by Snuggy Boots, an orthotic and footwear suspender system to protect your dog’s paws this winter.