The snow is snowing, the wind it is blowing. Can your pup weather the storm? Luckily there are many ways to prepare your pup for winter, ensuring your fur baby is still active through the cooler months, but also safe from Jack Frost’s bite.
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Your dog’s ability to maintain warmth will depend on his breed and size. Typically, smaller breeds will be at risk as temperatures drop below -5C, whereas medium to large sized dogs will be tolerant until temperatures dip below -10C. Dogs with long hair or double coats tend to fair better than those with short hair and single-coats. If your dog has dark coloured fur, sunny winter days could also be bearable since your pup’s dark coat will attract heat from the sun. To keep dogs of any breed from experiencing that winter bite, minimize the time you spend outdoors on those very cold days and dress him in appropriate winter wear which could include a sweater or winter vest, winter socks or booties.
Let It Snow – You may be wondering if you can walk your dog in the snow. The answer is yes. With some preparation, you can get outdoors to enjoy the snow with your pup. Just like human children, your fur kid will enjoy playing in the snow and you can engage him with winter activities such as snow hide & seek with treats or toys, a gentle game of catch the snowball, or a picturesque walk on a groomed winter trail. Again, you’ll want to dress your pup appropriately for the weather, as mentioned above and avoid taking your dog out on those extremely cold days.
Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter – Planning for outdoor activities with your dog in the cold of winter, will give you the best chance of enjoying the seasonal weather. Check the weather and make note of the wind chill. If getting out for a walk, choose a route that will be well-groomed so that your pup isn’t sinking into soft snow, and a path that can allow you to shorten your walk if the weather turns. Pay close attention to your dog’s behaviors. He’ll give you cues to let you know if he’s had enough outdoors fun. Some signs could be whining, refusing to continue the walk, lifting or chewing paws, or shivering.
It’s a Marshmallow World – Snow covered landscapes can look inviting enough to eat but there’s nothing like a nutritious meal to warm your pup from the inside, on those cold days. Offering your fur baby soft dog food that’s been slightly warmed is a great way to shake out the cold. Since pets that spend more time outdoors during the cooler months need more energy, it might also be a good idea to adjust your dog’s daily meals accordingly. Monitor your pet’s weight, noting any increase or decrease based on his level of activity through the winter. Consult your vet if you’re unsure about your pup’s weight and the amount of food you should provide based on his activity.
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm – On those very cold winter days, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with your furry best friend, to warm your spirit and your heart. If you keep your dog healthy through regular physical activity, whether indoors or outside, prepare him for some winter fun, and provide him with nutritious meals to meet his level of activity, he’ll know he’s got your love to keep him warm all winter long.
As the winter approaches, the unpredictable weather can pose some risk to your dog while outdoors. Despite the cold, your pup still needs daily physical activity. In our newest blog, we’ll share some tips to keep your dog safe, comfortable, and healthy through the winter months.