Keeping Dogs Safe and Happy in the Snow
Customer Service Follow-up Specialist
When I adopted my two dogs, Manny and Charles, we were all living in hot and humid Austin, Texas. It is very unlikely that either of them had ever seen or experienced snow prior to our move to my home state of Minnesota a few years later. It was a hilarious moment to watch them experience their first snowfall, which they met with a mixture of confusion and delight. The excitement quickly faded though once they realized that playing in the snow leads to cold paws. While Manny and Charles have experienced several Minnesota winters, they are Texans to their core and are still working on making the adjustment. I’ve compiled a few tips that I’ve implanted over the years to help make their transition a little easier:
- Prevent itchy, dry skin
Just like humans, dogs can develop itchy and dry skin during the winter months. It can be very beneficial for both us and our pets to keep a humidifier in our homes to help beat the dry air. Running ceiling fans on a low setting can also help circulate the air. Remember to not over bathe your dogs during the winter, though it can seem like a bath would help soothe their dry skin the shampoo will likely cause the dryness to worsen.
Between the harsh ice melting chemicals and the freezing cold pavement, walking can quickly become uncomfortable for most dogs. You may have even noticed that your dog will limp or raise up a foot in attempt to get their paws away from the icy ground. By keeping a towel close to your door you can quickly dry their cold paws right when they come inside. This has the added bonus of them not tracking snow into your home. On your next walk try taking a small hand towel with you as well, that way if you walk through an area with an abundance of salt or notice your dog becoming uncomfortable you can wipe their paws right away.
One of the biggest transitions that Manny and Charles had to make when it came to dealing with the below freezing temperatures was learning how to comfortably walk in dog booties! For dogs who still enjoy going on walks during the winter months, boots can be a great thing to teach them to wear. Make sure you have a few different coats if your dog has thin or short fur. An extra layer before heading outside can really help make the low temperatures more bearable.
- Check the temp!
It’s always important to check the temperature before heading outdoors for a walk or even for potty breaks. Keep in mind that if it is too cold for us to be outside for an extended period of time, than it is too cold for your pets too!
While Manny and Charles have been braving the winter wonderland that is Minnesota for 4 years now, each winter still met with surprise. Keeping them safe and warm is a top priority during the cold, snowy months and by making sure they are wearing coats when outdoors and keeping them dry, it makes the winter months much more enjoyable for both of them.