Cold Weather Tips for Your Dog
Finally, don’t forget hydration! It’s just as important in colder months as it is in warmer ones. If your dog is playing hard, making snow tunnels, then be sure to have some fresh water available. If you leave a bowl of water outside, be sure to check it hasn’t frozen over so your dog can quench his thirst.
With the nasty winter weather on its way, you may be wondering how to protect your dog from the winter elements without making him or her a prisoner in your home. I decided to go to the experts on this subject, our friends at Paw Joggers, Cincinnati’s premiere dog running and walking service! Billie Mendoza of Paw Joggers was able to pass along this great information:
Although winter may not be the favorite time of year for outdoor activities for most humans, it surely will not stop the dogs… They love it! It’s important to keep a regular exercise routine for your pets, even in cold temperatures, so they keep a high fitness level, good muscle mass, and limit those unwanted pounds. They’ll also be ready for all the activities Spring has to bring without risk of injury.
As the mercury drops, some dogs are able to acclimate better than others. For short-haired dogs, small breeds, and puppies, we suggest covering up with a sweater or coat, especially if you plan to be outdoors for longer than thirty minutes. To help protect pooch’s paws from harsh chemicals used to melt snow and ice and the chilly ice and snow, which can pack in between paw pads, try donning some protective booties. Some of our favorites are made by Ruff Wear. For the bootie shy dog, there’s a great “minimalist” rubber bootie made by Pawz. It fits securely and feels more natural on the paw due to less padding. For dogs that prefer going out sans boots, we suggest topical products you can apply to the paw pads that will provide some layer of protection from the elements and help keep them moisturized. If your dog does go out with bare paws, it’s always a good idea to rinse their paws before returning indoors. A good way to do this is fill a shallow bucket or pan with a few inches of tepid water. Dip each paw into the water and rinse the pads thoroughly. Then dry with a towel. This will melt any packed snow or ice and remove any harsh chemicals. Those chemicals can cause damage to the pads as well as possible sickness if your dog licks his paws.
So, when you find it hard to get yourself outdoors because of the weather, just glance over at your doggy’s face… That’s motivation!
Thanks again to Billie for all of her wonderful suggestions! Be sure to check out Paw Joggers website for all of the services they have to offer! What are you doing to make winter playtime a more enjoyable experience for your dog?
written by Maria, ”Mama Dingo”