Cold Weather Tips for Your Canine

Brrrrr! This winter, many of us have already seen more than our fair share of cold, snow and ice. And we hate to break it to you but spring is still a ways away. Sorry! While it may be tempting to while away the coming weeks planted firmly in front of a fire, your pooch probably doesn’t agree. Just try explaining to those sad puppy dog eyes why walkies will have to wait until, oh, mid-March. Before you head out the door, we have a few tips that should make walking in a winter wonderland a lot safer and more enjoyable for you both.

Bundle up!
Some folks think the idea of clothing on a dog is silly. After all, they have a built-in fur coat, right? While not every dog needs extra insulation, some do. If you have a small dog or one with short fur, you may need to consider purchasing or making them a jacket.When choosing a doggie coat, make sure it’s the right weight for the conditions. For instance, most dogs in milder climates probably don’t need a down jacket. Also, check that it’s the right size. A coat that’s too big won’t provide much protection and one that’s too small may restrict movement.

Watch those paws
If you live in a snowy or icy region, dog boots may be a good idea (if your dog will wear them, that is). Boots will help protect paw pads from ice melt, encrusted snow and ice, and antifreeze.If your dog simply won’t tolerate boots, check and wipe down their legs and paw pads after every trip around the block. This will keep them from ingesting any dangerous chemicals or substances they might have stepped in along the way.

Count calories
Your dog’s activity level is likely different in the winter than the rest of the year. So it’s important to adjust his calories accordingly. If your dog is only too happy making a quick potty run into the yard, you may need to feed him a bit less.On the other hand, if you do skijoring with your dog or if he could romp through the snow for hours, keep him in tip top shape by increasing his calories. Stay away from the junk, however. The quality of calories is just as important as the quantity. Make sure you stick with high quality food and snacks like Full Moon Treats.

Listen to your dog
In extreme weather, it’s important to pay attention to what your dog is telling you. If your dog would rather stay in by the fire, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just try to add in some fun indoor games and activities to burn calories and keep his mind active.If, however, your dog is a winter warrior, make sure he’s not doing too much or staying out too long. Watch for signs like shivering, anxiety, whining or lethargy. This could mean that your pup is starting to suffer from hypothermia. Get him to a warm place immediately and contact your vet.

With a little preparation, the next couple of months will fly by for you and your four-legged friend.