This winter, the Midwest was clobbered by a massive blizzard, and it’s more than likely that other parts of the U.S. will be hit by snow before the season’s over. This can cause a big headache for pet owners who find that their dog doesn’t like the white stuff. If your canine companion is adverse to snow, here are some tips that can make winter easier on both of you.
What’s got your dog’s tail in a twist?
Before you jump to the conclusion that your dog simply hates snow, you should try to figure out if there’s something else that’s upsetting him.
- Perhaps it’s not the precipitation but the cold temperature that he finds unpleasant. If this is the case, you should make sure any dog grooming you do keeps his coat full and healthy, as this is the dog’s number one insulation against the cold. Canines with thick coats won’t need jackets, but short-haired or hairless dogs might need a few extra layers to keep the cold at bay.
- Other dogs may be perturbed not by the snow itself, but by treatments people put out to reduce ice and other wintery buildups. You can encourage neighbors to use pet-friendly salt, which won’t cause pain in dogs, or consider investing in a pair of booties or a wax solution that will keep your canine companion’s paws safe.
- You should also bring your pet to one of your local vet clinics to make sure his dislike of the cold isn’t due to a more severe problem with his health. For example, pain from arthritis in dogs can sometimes be exacerbated by plunging temperatures.
- If you’re raising puppies, then the issue may be that your canine companions are just unfamiliar with snow. You can help them get over this by introducing them to it slowly with short walks or by bringing some snow inside and letting them investigate it in a safe space.
If he truly hates snow
If you find that your dog still doesn’t want to go out much, even with paw protection and an extra coat, then it may be an indication that your pet truly dislikes snow. This is nothing to worry about – part of what makes dogs such fantastic companions is that each has his own quirks and personality traits. However, it will mean you need to take a few extra measures to make sure he stays healthy until the snow melts away.
Because your dog won’t want to go out as often, you will likely see a decline in the number or duration of your daily strolls. This is OK, provided that your dog is still able to relieve himself and you take extra measures to make sure he remains fit. Purchasing a few toys that can be thrown around the house will help your dog stay in shape.
What Kind Of Winter Gear Do I Need For My Dog?
In several states in the U.S., snow has already fallen, which means pet owners should be thinking about how to care for their four-legged companions during the winter season. If you adopted a dog in the past few months, there may be some items you need to stock up on to make sure your pet is set until spring arrives, so here are some tips.
What you need for walks
Walking outside in the winter isn’t always a treat, but it’s important to make sure your dog gets regular exercise 365 days a year. You may have seen some dogs walking around with jackets, which can look a bit silly, but sometimes it’s necessary. While canines who have big, heavy coats will likely be fine outside during walks, dogs who have short fur or none at all might need an extra layer to ward off the cold. Other dogs may not like the wetness of winter weather and will appreciate a jacket that protects them from snow or rain.
Speaking of which, if you live in an area where there’s lots of snow, then you may want to buy protection for your dog’s paws. It’s not the actual snow itself that can cause your canine harm, but rather the salt that some people put out to help break up ice on sidewalks and driveways. Sometimes, this salt can cause pain in dogs if it gets wedged between the pads of their paws. You can invest in booties for your dog or a salve that helps protect her pads. Visit a pet health clinic to see if your vet has any recommendations.
Always be prepared
Remember that blizzards and ice storms can cause power outages during the winter months. If you live in an area prone to such natural disasters, you’ll need to stock up not only for yourself but also for your pet. Be sure that you have plenty of food to keep her satisfied for at least a week, and ask your vet for extra pet medications if your pet has an illness that requires regular treatment, such as diabetes insipidus in dogs.
While some dogs may become more relaxed and content to laze around in the winter, especially if you keep your house warm, be sure that such behavior isn’t an indication of an illness. If your dog suddenly seems to lack energy or appears depressed, it’s essential that you bring her to one of the nearby vet clinics for medical attention right away.
Protecting Those Paws In Winter
As winter approaches and snow starts to fall, you might be pulling your boots and heavy socks out of storage to protect your feet from the elements – but what about your dog? Cold isn’t usually an issue for dogs’ paws, but salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice on sidewalks can be brutal on the pads of the paws.
You can prevent dog injuries on your own turf by using sand instead of chemical deicers on your sidewalk and driveway, but you might still encounter these substances if you walk around the neighborhood or city with your canine companion. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your pet’s paws all winter long.
Cover them up
Dog booties may seem like a fashion statement, but they are actually designed to keep your pets’ paws safe, dry and free of chemicals. Whether you buy booties or make your own, they can be beneficial in preventing dog wounds from sharp ice or items hidden under the snow and ice.
If your canine does not like wearing booties, there are several balms you can use to seal up the surface of the pads, creating a protective barrier so chemicals cannot damage this skin. Try to reapply this product before each walk for the best results.
Give a little extra care
Another way to keep your pet’s paws in tip-top shape is to pay a little more attention to them during the winter. After walks, it may help to soak your dog’s feet in a dish of warm water to remove chemicals and salt. This can be an effective way of treating pain in dogs, especially if your pooch has open cuts or sores that may have been exposed to salt or chemicals during a walk.
Soaking your pet’s paws is especially important if your dog has been licking his pads after a walk. Chemical deicers and other substances on winter streets can be toxic to canines and cause dog vomiting or diarrhea.