Winter is upon us, and the cold and dry weather will be around for a while. As we take extra steps in our own routines to be winter ready, we should be doing the same for our dogs! We’re going to go over 5 essentials to add to your dog’s winter arsenal to make the season a little easier on them.
Every dog and dog breed has different tolerances of the snow and cold weather, and you know your dog and what they’ll handle better than anyone. It’s always a good idea to have a well crafted and warm dog jacket or parka on hand for those colder walks to keep them toasty, or if they’re a double-coated dog and don’t mind the cold, a light fleece pullover to help keep their coat dry can be super beneficial. If your dog loves the snow and playing in it more than you love bathing and drying them off, the Canada Pooch Slush Suit may be the perfect product to allow them the play they want without the headache for you!
There can definitely be a learning curve to getting your dog to accept wearing a pair of booties, but we highly recommend them. Not only do boots help keep your dog’s paws clean and free of tracking muck through the house after a walk, but they greatly reduce the risk of frostbite. On top of reducing risks from the cold, they protect your pup’s paws from the drying and damaging effects of salts used to melt ice, the boots will also provide extra grip on slick surfaces. If your pup won’t accept the use of dog boots, you can always try getting them used to something less conspicuous first like Pawks. While Pawks won’t keep paws as warm, or as dry as dog boots, they are a great option and can help your dog get used to having something on their paws.
With the cold, dry winters, our dogs can easily face issues with cracked or dry skin, paws, and nose. Dry or cracked skin can be uncomfortable, so it’s a great idea to keep a moisturizing balm on hand for regular use. There are balms formulated specifically for paws and noses, or for all around use! If your dog isn’t a fan of boots, this will be especially helpful to use after wiping down their paws after a walk or quick trip out to pee.
With the short hours of daylight, it’s well-thought to have pet gear that is either reflective or lights up in the dark. This will ensure visibility to yourself and others, and will be an extra safeguard should your dog accidentally venture out unsupervised. We carry many reflective collars, leashes, and clothes to help you when walking in residential areas, and if you and your pooch like off-leash options, then LED flashers attached to their collar, or light-up neck rings are a good option to keep track of them during the darker hours of the day.
Indoor Exercise and Stimulation
If it’s too cold to take your dog outside, or they’re just reluctant to be out in the weather, it is important to make sure they're still receiving enough mental stimulation and exercise. Consider picking up some enrichment items to keep their minds active and some toys that are great for indoor use to keep their bodies moving. If you don’t have a lot of space for your dog to play and run, some indoor agility and training facilities offer rental times for play and exercise during cold weather!
When it comes to winter activities with your dog, always plan ahead and be prepared. Most importantly, you want to listen to your dog and pay attention to any cues from them, so you aren’t pushing them past their limits. A content and safe dog is always better than a preventable vet visit.