5 Tips for Winterizing Your Dog
Just as you would wear a coat and some gloves to go outside, your dog may need some protection too. Sure, they have a nice furry coat, but in extremely cold temperatures, they need a couple of layers too.
This is most important if you have a small dog or a dog with short fur. It may look silly to some, but your dog will thank you if you put on a little coat or even some ear warmers. Many dogs do not like wearing shoes, but you can give it try.
If you have an outdoor dog, make sure their dog house or enclosure is well insulated and has everything for them to stay warm and dry.
It is important to keep your pets dry during these winter months. Snow and ice may get stuck to their fur and meltdown, leaving your pet cold and wet. After walks, try to dry your dog off with a towel or cloth.
If your dog remains outside and is wet, they could develop icicles sticking to their fur and eventually frostbite.
If your dog is choosing to not wear shoes, then take special care of their paws. Much like human hands and feet, a dog’s can begin to dry out and crack with the cold. The cold will also provide some uncomfortableness in this sensitive area and they can get frostbite.
Walking during the winter also provides a few hazards as well. The ground may be littered with salt, dripping anti-freeze, and other winter solvents that could cause painful irritation for your pet.
Be sure to properly clean their paws of all debris. Check for dryness and sores. It is safe to put vaseline on their paws to help lock in moisture. There is also a product called Mushers Wax that you place on the paws before going for a walk. It works as a sealant to keep salt, debris, and ice out of their paws.
Remember, just because it isn’t hot out, dogs need plenty to drink! Be sure to keep your dog’s water bowl full. If you have an outdoor dog or one that frequents outside, pick up a water bowl heater to prevent it from freezing.
During the winter people have the tendency to get a bit stagnant. It’s too cold to do anything fun outside, and sometimes the early dark gets us a bit lazy. Well if you feel this way, just imagine how your dog feels. It is important to keep your dogs as active as you can. Continue to take them on their walks, let them run around in the backyard, and play with them inside. An active dog is a happy dog. Plus, dogs are not bears. There is no need for them to pack on pounds for the long winter hibernation. The winter cold forces them to expel more energy and in turn, need more food. Remember, everything in moderation.
Do you have any other tips that work for your dogs for winter? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to pass this post along!
- Justin Sarachik