Dogs and Cold Weather

If you bundle your pup for below freezing temperatures, sleet and snow — good move! You’re taking steps to ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and healthy during the winter. But did you know there are other threats that cold weather brings? We’ve pulled together a list of ways you can do even more to make your family dog comfortable in cold weather.

Keep it moist. The dry air can affect your dog’s skin just like it does yours. Keeping your home humidified helps avoid itchy, flaky skin.

Remove snow. Towel drying his fur after a roll in the snow will also protect your pet’s skin. Pay extra attention to snow stuck between toes to protect fragile foot pads.

Clean feet. One of the reasons to remove the snow between toes is it can contain de-icing chemicals which are not good for him or his skin. Gently washing your pup’s feet and belly should remove these chemicals and any last bits of snow and ice.

Bathe less. While you’re cleaning their feet more you’ll actually want to be bathing them less. Removing the essential oils from their coat leaves their skin less protected. If you must bathe your dog, ask your vet for recommendations on moisturizing products.

Skip the shave. Fur is nature’s way of protecting your dog from the elements. Let his fur do its job. If your pet has long hair, you may want to do just a little trimming to prevent it from dragging on the ground and picking up excess snow.

Winter wardrobe. Short haired dogs are not designed for cold weather and can definitely benefit from a sweater or a jacket that protects their core from the cold.

Vaseline and booties. Puppy pads are fragile areas that can easily dry out and crack in winter. If you can get them to wear booties — go for it! If not, rubbing their pads with petroleum jelly before walks will save them from some irritation.

More food and water. Pets burn energy to stay warm, which means they can benefit from a few more calories and added water in winter.

Keep them cozy. Check your pet’s bed and favorite resting places to make sure they’re warm and away from drafts.

And the best tip of all — give them lots of love! Hugging and petting your dog lets you share body heat and you’ll both benefit from the closeness.


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