There is nothing like watching your dog experience his first snowfall, or even his fiftieth…it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen their reaction, or how old you are, they make you laugh and bring out the child in all of us.
Dogs love playing in the snow but they don’t always realise the ways it can be bad for them. Keeping them safe during this weather falls on you, and here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe in the snow.
Wrap Them Up
Some people find dog jumpers/coats adorable, while others might see them as a little bit silly. No matter which side you’re on, it’s hard to argue against the benefit they provide to your dogs. Jumpers and coats are a great way to keep dogs warm in the snow and keep the snow off their skin. Especially if your dog has a short coat or is more senior in years and needs a little extra insulation.
Cover Their Paws
Believe it or not, there are actually boots designed specifically for dogs. Some are made for hiking, while others are specifically meant to help keep their paws dry in the rain and snow. Putting a pair of these on your dog’s paws is a great way to ward off the frost while also making him look pretty cute in the process. They may object at first, but once you have them walking outside they will soon get used to them.
Slipping & Sliding
Slipping and sliding may look like fun, especially if you have multiple dogs playing together, but injuries are never far away. Be careful for bangs and strains, most likely they will bounce back-up and keep on playing; but once they are home and have had a little rest the soreness will show. Try to avoid letting them play too hard, especially if the ground is icy. Simply jumping up on frozen ground can cause injury.
While road salts are great for keeping you off your bottom and your car on the road, they also contain chemicals that could be harmful to your pets especially if they are ingested. The dangers of salt on dogs and cats is not funny, with effects including vomiting, excessive thirst, kidney damage, seizures or even comas and death. Avoid walking your dog in the salt, and if he does come into contact with it, immediately wipe his paws clean and keep him from trying to lick it off. Once you get home, wash his paws thoroughly, as the salt will make them sore and itchy. If you have a paw rub, or some coconut oil try rubbing this into your dog’s paws before walking in the snow. The oil will act as a barrier and help to protect them. Remember, if you have a cat that goes outside, always check his paws when he comes home – paw rub or coconut oil works for cats too.
Grow Their Coat Before Winter
It might be too late for this year, but remember this one for next. If your dog is hairy and you usually trim his coat, make sure you’re not cutting too much off in the winter. Fur is your dog’s primary means of protection against the cold/frost. Your groomer should be able to style your dog to keep him healthy and handsome, so ask your groomer for a longer style during winter.
Keep Them Dry
Protect your dog by drying him thoroughly, even if he has only been into the garden! This is your chance to check him over and inspect his paws. If he is really wet and you use a hairdryer don’t get too close, using heat to dry a dog’s skin too much can actually over-dry it.