As the temperatures continue to drop, it’s important to adjust your pet’s routine to keep them safe. Just like humans, dogs’ health can suffer from the colder elements, so pet owners should take the necessary winter safety precautions so that both you and your pups can enjoy the months ahead!
Bundle Them Up!
How can you tell if your dog needs a jacket out there?
Larger dogs with thick coats, such as huskies and malamutes, are much better equipped for the cold and most likely don’t need a jacket when they go outside.
According to the AKC, shorthaired dogs, especially those that have a smaller or leaner build, should wear a sweater or jacket outside as they’re more easily affected by the chilly air. Dogs that are low to the ground, such as corgis, should also wear jackets despite their thicker coats due to being so close to snow and ice.
The AKC recommends that older dogs, regardless of coat, should wear jackets when they’re outside due to weaker joints and immune systems.
Wipe Them Down!
When taking your pup out in the winter, whether it’s for play, potty, or a walk around the neighborhood, it’s important to wipe your pet’s stomach, legs, and paws after being outside.
Snow and ice can gather between a dog’s toes as well as in their fur, which can cause skin irritation. If you have a longhaired dog, be sure to keep the fur on their feet short in order to minimize the build up. Keeping a towel in your car and by the door in your home is a great way to remind yourself to clean your pup after an outing!
Wiping your dog’s paws after walks also avoids injury from ice melt. Ice salt that’s been left on a dog’s paws can lead to skin irritation as well as dry, cracked paws. When possible, it’s best to avoid walking through salt when you’re outside with your pet. If you use salt to keep ice at bay in your own home, be sure to use pet safe ice melt.
Another way to avoid irritation on your dog’s paws are boots! These are an effective (and adorable!) option to keep your pet safe this winter. We have a blog post that goes more in depth on dog boots here!
Bundled or not, when you do bring your dog outside, always check for signs if he is getting cold. When your dog is shivering, moving slower, whining/barking, or holding up their paws, it’s time to head inside and cuddle up!