We are all getting cozy with our hot chocolate and blankets, now
that winter is finally here. We start gearing up for the winter
chill long before it approaches us. Scarves, gloves, socks,
sweaters, and jackets are some of the essentials that we stock up
on to help us brace the chilly weather. We face a lot of
challenges during this season, however, have we ever thought
about the challenges faced by dog owners?
Winters are quite harsh on dogs, and they feel the chill too. Dog
owners, especially those living in areas that have quite a severe
temperature, are tested during the cold days. If you are a dog
owner who wants to do everything to make sure your furry friend
is safe and warm, you would know the struggle.
For all of you, here are a few essentials that you need to get
your dogs for them to go through the winter season smoothly:
1. Paw Protection
Snow and ice are quite bad for your pooch’s paws, but what’s even
worse is the salt that is spread on the streets and sidewalks by
snowplows and shovelers to melt the ice. Snow, when combined with
salt, can cause a reaction that burns your pooch’s paws.
There are two options available for you to use to protect your
dog’s paws. The first option is rubber booties. They stay on for
long, especially if you find the right size for your little
friend. They are also waterproof and disposable.
The other option is the Paw Wax, which is a wax-like cream that
you apply on your dog’s paw pads and between their toes. You will
have to wash it off after a walk, or else you will find wax
prints all over your house.
2. A Dog Jacket
While we know that a dog’s fur acts as a natural defense against
the cold, a dog jacket is still a must for dogs with short and
thin hair. You may also want to get this dog jacket if you live
in an extremely chilly area.
When choosing a dog jacket for your pooch, make sure that it is
at least decently waterproof so that the snow does not soak in
and make the dog cold. It should also allow you to attach a leash
for your walks. Choosing the size of the jacket is also very
important; you need to follow the sizing instructions very
3. Healing Balm
We all have lotions and balms for our chapped lips and hands
during the winters, don’t we? Our dogs get chapped paws and nose
too. To help your little friends get rid of cracked noses and
paws, get a soothing butter balm that is safe for them.
4. A Warm Dog House We always crank up our
heaters during those chilly days to help us keep warm. Shouldn't
we should do the same for our pups? When your dog comes back
after frolicking in the snow, it would want to cozy up in its
place. Get them an insulated dog home where they can bundle up
and relax. You could also get a dog heater to heat the dog house.
Nine Tips to Keep Dogs Happy and Healthy During Winter
Here's a short winter guide to keep your dog healthy and happy
- If you have a short-haired dog or it is still a pup, then the
fur may not be able to protect them as well from the harsh cold.
Get them a winter coat so they stay warm during the winter.
Observe their response to layers, you don't want them to end up
feeling suffocating in it. You can also get them paw booties so
they are warm when they walk on ice or snow, and it offers better
traction on icy surfaces as well.
- The tolerance to cold varies depending on the breed, age, fat
deposit, coat length, and such. You want to be observant of your
dog's responses during the cold winters and see if there are any
changes in its regular activities or behavior.
- The food habits of your pet
should be changed to the cold winter weather. You want to have a
chat with your vet on any particular nutritional
requirements that your pet may need. Of course, exercise
and activity are key factors to consider while deciding how many
calories your pet needs. For instance, if your dog isn't very
active, then you want to look at low-calorie treats, while you
want to add a little more calorie into its diet if they are very
- Make sure that there are no anti-freeze spills in your garage
or driveway. Dogs find the anti-freeze tasty, and might consume
it, not realizing that it is toxic. It can poison your dog.
- The cold weather does not mean that your dog should skip its
exercise. Your dog can exercise while at home, whether it is by
running up and down the stairs or playing fetch indoors. A little
bit of indoor playtime can help make sure that your pet does not
get lethargic during winter.
- If you take your dog out for a walk, be sure to avoid ponds,
lakes, river or water bodies that are frozen. There is a good
chance that the ice may break and your dog falls in.
- Your dog's keen sense of smell may be affected during winter
due to the heavy winds and snowfall. This means, you should be at
close quarters to your dog at all times when you're outdoors or
you might just lose him/her. It's a good idea to keep your dog on
a leash when you
take them out during winters.
- Make sure you wipe your dogs' paws after it comes home, as
they may be exposed to salt and de-icing chemicals, and try to
lick it off.
- Stop by the vet's clinic during winter to make sure that your
pet is healthy. Dogs may develop arthritis and other such
conditions during the cold season.