Cold Weather Safety Tips for Your Dog
There are some helpful tips that can make your pets more comfortable in the winter. Musher’s Secret or Bag Balm help to soften your pet’s paws and can provide a layer of insulation on the ice and snow outside. Make sure to inspect your pet’s paws every time they come in from being outside.
For potty training and outdoors in general, make sure to clear a small patch of grass for your dogs. It is hard to poop when your butt is touching the cold snow. (Think about how you feel when you sit down on an ice-cold toilet seat)! Some other tips are to lay some tarp on the ground before it snows and then you can lift it up and your pets will have a dry area. Laying some straw on the ground can also help provide some insulation for pets to eliminate safely outside. I have found that the best way to get your pet to potty quickly is to go outside with them. You can walk them on leash and keep them moving to help them eliminate quicker. Keep your leash, coat and gloves by the door so you can go outside with them.
Unless you have a double coated dog, keep their outside adventure time to a minimum. Dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia quickly when they are outside. For some dogs, an insulated dog coat or sweater might help, and you can also invest in a good pair of insulated dog booties. It will take some practice for your dog to get comfortable in booties, but it might be worth it to prevent paw frostbite.
If your pets become hypothermic, the best thing to do is put them near a heater or warm them with a blanket. You can also cuddle with them BUT don’t rub their limbs trying to warm them up. That can make the pain of frostbite worse.
Last but not least, I know behavior problems can become worse in the winter due to lack of exercise. Take advantage of your treadmill if you have one and if not, utilize mentally stimulating games and activities. You can feed in a Kong or Kong wobbler, snuffle matt, muffin tin or puzzle toy. I recommend a search for enrichment activities for dogs and that will also help to entertain and mentally tire them out. Practice duration obedience commands such as stay, settle, place or wait with distractions.
Enjoy the beauty of mother nature but make sure to keep your pet’s safe in the process.
Share with us how you kept your dog(s) entertained during this past weekend’s ice storm and brutal temperatures.