It’s that time of year. The deep freeze has set in and the temperatures are in the single digits. The streets are full of slush and every surface has been heavily salted. Freezing temperatures cause icicles to form on the tree branches and patches of ice to form on sidewalks. Follow these five tips to keep your pup safe and cozy during walks:
Stay Warm - Dog clothes are not only for Halloween and to look cute, they are also meant to keep pets warm. Sweaters and hoodies come in handy when the temperature drops below freezing. One of my favorite products is Shed Defender, a lightweight spandex onesie that’s easy to put on and great for late fall and early winter weather.
Be Quick - Try shorter walks with purpose. Once your pooch has done the deed, bring them back indoors. Spend extra time playing indoors where it’s warm.
Protect Feet - Rock salt littered over every surface can blister and hurt your dog’s feet, so try protecting them with boots. Most styles and products will suffice so long as they completely cover the paws and paw pads and are not too tight around the ankle. Another option is to cover their feet with wax, balm, or coconut oil prior to a walk. These tend to wear off quickly but are an alternative for those pups who don’t take well to shoes.
Clean Paws- You should also wipe off and dry your pup’s paws after each walk to clean off salt and de-icing chemicals. This will reduce the amount of time their paws are in contact with these irritating elements. Prevention, though, is always best.
Don’t Fall - Be wary of ice. Dogs generally have a better sense of balance due to being on four paws, but they can slip and fall. If this happens take a close look at their mouth, chin, and chest - these are the most common places injuries occur due to a fall.
Always be safe and careful during the winter months. If your dog is up for it and is a breed raised for cold climates and winter weather conditions, let them play in the snow for a short while. There’s nothing more fun than fetch in some fresh powder. Don’t forget to dry them off and warm them up afterwards; maybe an extra treat too.