Here in Canada we are known for our politeness, our love of hockey and, of course, our long, cold winters. We winterize our homes, put snow tires on our cars and bundle up kids and pets. When it comes to our dogs, bear in mind some breeds can’t wait to bound through the snow in the great outdoors, while others prefer to curl up and chill indoors. It’s important to know your dog’s preference. From balms and beds to paws and parkas, Rover.com has your winter needs covered. No freezing Fidos here!
How to Keep Dog’s Warm and Dry in the Winter
Doggy outfits, or Dogfits, are great for both form and function. Despite their built-in furry outerwear, not all dogs can handle our brutally cold winters. The best coats for dogs in cold weather are those that are water-resistant, windproof and that feel as good as they look. Remember, not all dogs are fashion plates, and some will not abide by any outerwear whatsoever. If your dog is the type who prefers going au naturel, be sure to always wipe him down to keep fur dry and clean. Salt on roads and sidewalks can be highly irritating so it’s super important to protect your dog’s feet. Booties, anti-skid socks or waterproof coverlets can all help protect dogs’ paws. Petsmart, Pet Only and Canada Pooch have fabulous selections of apparel and accessories and ship across Canada.
DIY Winter Warmers for Dog’s Paws
It’s not necessary to go out and spend a fortune on winter gear for your pet. Using your own socks and sweaters can keep your dog insulated against the cold. The easiest DIY fix for your furry family is focusing on the paws. Ice, de-icing salt and frozen debris easily stick to feet. Your dog’s instinct may be to lick her paws, ingesting harmful and potentially dangerous poisons. By applying dog balms or paw wax, you’re ensuring paw pads stay protected. Beeswax, Vaseline and even lip balm can be used on your dog’s paw pads to keep them safe.
Walking Your Dog in Winter
As the mercury drops, you may dread taking your dog out. If you’re lucky, your dog may feel the same way. In that case, a quick in and out is all you’ll both need. For exercise, try playing indoor catch, or revisit training exercises. Working your dog’s mind is almost as tiring as working their bodies. However, if your dog needs her daily constitutional, or if she adores the snow, then it’s time to bundle up and get out there. If you don’t feel like getting out in the cold as much as your dog, you can easily find the perfect dog walker to venture out in the cold with your dog.
The dogs that like snow tend to love it. While he enjoys the romp through that fresh white powder, bear in mind that freshly fallen snow can hide all kinds of things, from animal waste to garbage. Be sure to keep your dog leashed if snow is affecting your visibility. Dogs can easily disappear from sight in a blizzard. Even the most winter-friendly dog breeds won’t want to be left outside for too long. Reflective leashes, collars and apparel come in handy for dogs on winter’s short days.
Pet Health in the Winter
Older dogs and puppies may need to take extra care during the long winter months. Supplements can help keep coats healthy and joints well-oiled. Just like people, pets can also suffer from dry skin in wintertime, so be on the look-out for chapped noses and paws. On days with extreme weather warnings, pets will want to be by your side – indoors rather than out. Cuddle up with cozy bedding and warm blankets but keep the hot chocolate for human consumption only. If you can’t be inside with your dog for the day, try a Doggy Day Care for a change of scenery. Whether you and your pooch are snow bunnies or homebodies, make the most of the cold winter months and keep everyone warm, safe and happy inside or out.
For more tips and tricks to keep your dog safe and healthy in the cold winter months, check out these articles:
How to Winterize Your Dog for Health, Safety, and Style
Seasonal Affective Disorder in Dogs: Do Pets Get the Winter Blues, Too?
6 Winter Treats for Dogs to Make Their Day Cozier