Not all dogs are made for the brutal cold that comes with the fun experience of playing in the snow. Just like us, some of them need extra protection to prevent frostbites and hypothermia. Here are a few to keep in mind.
We’ve all seen those videos. Dogs tumbling through the snow
and loving every minute of it. It’s a joy to watch dogs
experience their first time in snow every season.
However, not all dogs are made for the brutal cold that
comes with this fun experience. Just like us, some of them need
extra protection to prevent frostbites and hypothermia. This
applies to both indoors and outdoors!
It can be confusing understanding how best to prepare your
dog for the winter so we’ve curated the most important tips to
have your puppers winter ready.
Get them acclimatized to the cold first
As winter rolls around, start to have your dog get
acclimatized to the cold. Begin with short walks outside and
slowly increase the time spent outside over the course a few days
so they are well adjusted.
If you see your pupper shivering and dragging you back inside,
it’s a sign they haven’t fully acclimatized yet.
Invest in puppy coats
Acclimatization only goes so far and the -10 degrees wind
chill isn’t something any of us are built for without some extra
help. In your dog’s case, invest in a solid winter coat. It’s
worth spending money here so you’re getting a coat that is both
lightweight, well insulated, and doesn’t hinder your dog’s
mobility too much.
Keep them hydrated
Extra layers are super helpful but this needs to be paired
with good hydration. Always ensure during the winter your dog is
drinking extra water as this is crucial to helping them regulate
their body temperature. Even while outside, have a plastic bowl
with you so your puppers can hydrate as needed to fight the
Have some extra treats on hand
With a good layer and hydration, comes the last element to
the keep warm trio. Treats! That’s right staying warm requires
extra calories. While your dog is outside jumping around in the
snow, be sure to toss them a few treats to keep their energy
levels up. This will not only help keep them warm, but also happy
while fighting the cold.
Be mindful of rock salt or antifreeze
Now before you panic, rock salt and antifreeze aren’t
toxic, but they most definitely will give your dog an unwelcome
empty stomach and irritate their paws. Be on the lookout for blue
or green colored antifreeze while walking your dog to keep them
away from it.
When home, wipe off any salt or antifreeze residue from
their paws when back home to prevent them from ingesting it while
licking their paws.
Protect their paws
Being mindful of rock salt or antifreeze is one, but you
can also protect your pup's paws too so the rock salt doesn't
irritate them. Get some paw pads so that their protected from the
cold and don’t dry up. A painful side effect to the winter is
your dog experiencing cracked paws. Paw pads helps prevent
Watch for signs of frostbite
In extremely cold temperatures dogs can suffer from
frostbite. Usually, this will appear as black or grey patches on
your dog's skin and appear cold to the touch. Keep an eye out for
this on the extremities of your dog and in any exposed areas.
Don’t try to apply any remedies at home but call your vet
immediately should you spot any signs.
Avoid thin ice
There are far too many stories of puppers having to be
rescued from icy waters. Yes, it's fun to slide across the frozen
pond but ice easily cracks and it's not worth the trouble for
yourself or your pet. In general, avoid your dog ever walking on
frozen lakes or ponds, and keep an eye on them when off leash to
prevent them from wandering to such places.
Make their bedding cozy
Protecting your dog when outside is paramount! But, don't
forget to keep your pet warm when back at home. Ensure as winter
approaches that their bedding is warm and cozy. Use warm
blankets, and heated beds if possible. Placement is important too
so keep your pet's bedding away from cold drafts.
It's cold, but exercise is important!
It’s tempting when things are cold to keep your dog home a
lot more than usual. Who are we kidding, walking your dog in the
harsh winter isn’t fun for either of you. However, your dog needs
exercise and can get nervous if he or she doesn’t get their usual
walks. If the weather is hazardous, it’s good to have an indoor
pet gym as a back up for such times as well!
Aim for late mornings or early afternoons
With exercise, the ideal time to do this is also late
mornings or early afternoons when the sun is most likely shining,
and it's the warmest. An added benefit to this is all the vitamin
D you and your dog can get during those dark winters!
Dogs can get sensitive to the cold and this may prevent
them from doing their usual bathroom breaks outside. Be sure to
have pee-pads or old newspapers handy in such cases to allow them
to relieve themselves indoors.
Artificially warm them up
Another nice hack when you’ve taken your pet outside for a
walk is to give them a comfy warm up when back home. Use a blow
dryer on low setting to quickly warm them back up. Be careful to
not use this on their paw pads, but instead invest in some paw
pads or blankets to wrap them up once home.
Know your pet's breed
With all these tips being said, the extent to which your
dog stays warm is also based on its breed. Be aware of the care
you'll need to provide. Huskies, for example, will probably not
need a winter coat for added protection while your chihuahua
could definitely use one!
Well, there you have it. Each of these tips are important
but apply your best judgment on how to use them. Keep in mind, at
the end of the day, it's freezing cold outside and some of the
preventative measures that apply to us humans more or less are
needed for your pet. The very least, take measures to keep them
warm with some layers, and avoid extremely cold days where
Safe Ways For Your Pooch To Burn A Few Calories This
The snow can be an exciting and yet terrifying idea for your dog.
While it’s beautiful look-wise, it can be quite deadly too. There
are many risks to going out in extreme temperatures. While
keeping the potential risks like hypothermia, frostbite, and
injuries to the paw pad in mind, don’t let the cold climate put a
hamper on your exercise routines.Practice basic safety and you
can go on burning calories even in the dead of winter. The best
part about exercising with your dog is that they can do almost
anything we can. They can swim, walk, run, hike, yoga, and even
boot camp. Exercising with your dog not only gets you fit, but it
also strengthens the bond that you have with your pet.
Here Are A Few Ways You Can
Keep Up The Heat This Winter:
Turn your walks into fun
obstacle courses.While leash walks are great, they are
also one of the most leisurely exercises out there for dogs. In
order to burn more calories, you’ll have to do more than just
walking at a slow, comfortable pace. Try a higher intensity
exercise instead. Intensify your hikes by going up hills at
varying speeds. Take different paths and build your stamina.
Make the snow your
friend.Winter sports are fun and engaging. Try going
cross-country skiing with your dog. You will be in charge of
all your equipment and your dog can run alongside you. It will
be a great and memorable exercise for the both of you. There
are also other winter sports activities that you can try out
with your dog. There is so much snow around. Why let it go to
Don’t be afraid of the
steps.If the weather doesn’t permit you to go outside,
look for ways to work out inside. Start at the stairs. This is
a great way to get your heart going. Stair walks are great
exercises to do with dogs. It will be fun and effective. You
will be there every step of the way so you can rest assured
that your dog will be safe. If you have a partner, one of you
could try standing on top of the stairs while the other stands
at the bottom. Call for your dog alternatively. This will make
him go back and forth, up and down, on the stairs and is great
swimming.Not only is swimming an excellent cardio
workout, but it’s also great on the joints. Keep in mind that
dogs aren’t professionals at swimming. That’s why it’s
important to start at a slower pace and then move up once
you’ve built up your endurance.