Should I Winter-ize My Pet?
As snow covers the ground and temperatures drop below freezing, many owners wonder if their pets are safe from the elements. Some people purchase coats and boots for their dogs. But is that necessary? Didn’t dogs evolve to survive in the cold?
Different Breed, Different Need
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Larger dogs produce more body heat than smaller pups. Dogs who exercise regularly will burn more calories and have a higher body temperature than inactive dogs.
To Coat or Not to Coat
Fur type can vary greatly between breeds. Dogs with longer, thicker hair will be better protected from cold weather. So if you have a small, inactive dog with thin, short fur, they would probably appreciate an extra layer when you go for a walk or spend long periods of time outside.
Just keep in mind that wearing a coat will make it more difficult for a dog to swim if they ever fell into ice. So make sure that coats are only worn on dry land. Also, a coat wouldn’t be needed for quick trips like a potty break.
Protecting the Paws
For brisk walks and potty time, your pet shouldn’t need any booties. But they can add some well-needed protection if your dog will be spending long periods of time outside.
Trimming and Balming
If your pet won’t be wearing booties, make sure to trim the hair in between their paws to help minimize the amount of snow and ice that gets frozen to their feet. You can also consider using a pet paw protective balm. Simply trim their paw hair, wash the paw, and apply the balm.
The Roads Outside Are Frightful
In addition to the cold, your dog is also in danger of being exposed to road salt and de-icers which can be toxic and harmful to pets. If they don’t wear booties or a protective balm, make sure to wash your pets feet with warm water after a walk in the street. This will help their paws from becoming irritated.
Ultimately, what matters most is where your dog will be going, and how long they will be outside. And it never hurts to give extra snuggles on the couch after a cold journey outside.
Sharing is Caring
Know someone living in a cold climate with a dog they love? Pass this on and help keep their pup warm.