Now that the weather outside is frightful and the thermometer officially reads “brrrrr,” how do you make sure your pets stay safe, healthy, and comfortable all winter long? Just as we’re affected by the cold, our furry friends are too. Whether you’re staying inside, summiting mountains full of snow, or taking a walk around the city block, it’s important to be in-the-know. From protecting their paws to picking the perfect coat, here are some winter care tips & tricks to keep your best friend happy all season long.
Keep an Eye Out
- Examine the pads of their feet to ensure they aren’t dry or cracked. A wax-based topical pad protectant or fitted waterproof boots can help protect their paws.
- Keep hair between their toes trimmed to prevent ice crystals from accumulating between them.
- Wipe your fur babies down with a dry towel after each walk, focusing on their paws, chest and belly. This will also help prevent your pet from licking and ingesting toxic chemicals such as antifreeze or deicing salt, which are used in snow-prone areas.
- If it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for them. Frostbite and hypothermia are both concerning possibilities. Feel your pet’s ears, paws, and snout. If they’re cold, bundle them up.
- Cold weather can cause discomfort for senior pets, especially if they have existing medical conditions such as arthritis. Be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your pet has a warm, insulated area to rest. Consider adding a natural joint supplement to their diet to help with their joints.
- During the freezing cold temperatures, leave your dog at home when running errands. Just as cars get dangerously hot in the summer, it’s equally dangerous for your dog in the winter.
HAVE A SNOW DAY!
- Time spent indoors is always better with a new buddy. Foster a pet from your local shelter.
- Fill a new interactive toy with tasty treats. For more dog toy ideas to help your pet beat cabin fever, check out AKC’s blog article.
- Create a holiday ornament using clay and your pet’s paw print.
- Practice walking in dog booties for future adventures in the snow.
- Place your pet’s favorite treat inside a folded towel and let them unravel it to find a sweet surprise!
- Stream Disney+ and cuddle up on the couch under a warm blanket.
- Bake pet-friendly treats.
- Make a homemade DIY natural paw wax.
WHEN OPTING OUTSIDE:
- Make sure to have a winter coat that’s weatherproof, waterproof, and comfortable. We recommend Ruffwear’s Powder Hound™ Jacket.
- Have an insulated dog bed or waterproof blanket on hand for resting breaks.
- Many off-leash dogs wander. Avoid lakes, streams, and avalanche terrain for extra precaution.
Keep these winter tips & tricks in mind, and enjoy everything the season has to offer. Winter snuggles with your furry friend are a great way to keep you both warm!
Post written by Justeen Yang
First Image by Daniel Frank
Second Image by Jozef Fehér