We may think that dogs have no problem staying warm in the winter - they’ve got that big fur coat, after all. Not every dog is bred to be able to withstand a harsh winter climate, however, and they will often need our help in order to stay healthy and hearty during winter months. Here are a few ways you can keep your pups mushing, even as the snow piles up.
Add a little “Oomph” to their diet, and brush them often
Whether your dog’s breed is designed to endure harsh winter climates or is a breed not cut out for winter conditions, their #1 defense against the cold is going to be their coat. Make sure you are brushing them often to help encourage a thicker winter coat to grow in, and add some extra fat to their diet. The fat will help their fur grow in thicker and will also give them extra energy reserves is they are spending extended periods outside.
Wipe down paws before coming inside
Even with a big fur coat, snow and ice can still find a way to get to bare skin and make your dog hate winter. One of the most troublesome ways it does this is by packing into their paws between the pads of their feet. Make sure you are really getting in there and cleaning their paws off every time they come inside - if not, they may worry at their feet even more, exposing more skin and possibly ingesting dangerous products. Speaking of those products...
Watch out for non-natural products
Chemical winterization products like de-icer and antifreeze can pose extreme danger to your dog’s health. De-icer can get caught up in their paws, which they might then lick and ingest. Antifreeze can have a sweet, appealing smell to dogs, and even a small amount can be fatal if it is swallowed. Make sure any winterizing products you purchase are pet-safe, and take extra care in keeping an eye out when you are outside of your own property where non pet-friendly supplies could be in use.
Provide a covered, waterproof shelter
If your dog spends any more time outside than a quick potty break before scurrying back to warmth, make sure there is a covered, waterproof shelter they can get to. It needs to be something that they can avoid wind and precipitation inside of, preferably with a dry blanket they can curl up with as well. If temperatures drop quickly or the wind picks up, you want your dog to be able to find a temporary shelter until they can come back inside.
Don’t leave them unattended outside
No matter what breed your four-legged friend is, winter can be a dangerous time for our domesticated doggies. Don’t leave them unattended for long outside - it can be easy to forget about them or lose track of how long they’ve been out there, which can be very dangerous. Keep a close watch on your pup when they head outside.
Since you and your pooch are going to be spending lots of time indoors with one another over the winter, make sure you keep a supply of a stain and odor remover like Bio-nihilator on hand. Keep your house smelling and looking fresh - it’ll be one less thing to do when deep spring cleaning arrives.