When it comes to weather, we Canadians are a sturdy lot. We enjoy the hottest of summers and endure the coldest of winters. Spring and fall tend to get lost in the shuffle. And when it comes to our dogs, we can never be too prepared. As winter wanes and the days get longer and brighter, those days tend to get wetter too – as do our dogs. Here are some ideas to keep everyone warm and dry in the ever-tumultuous transition from winter to spring.
Dress to Impress
Some dogs, like huskies and St. Bernards, are born and bred for winter. Others, like most retrievers, are water babies. And then there are those who hate both winter and water-Boston Terriers, Pugs, Chihuahuas and some bulldog breeds, for example. If you own or care for a water-averse breed, try dressing them in raincoats or parkas to minimize the shivers and keep your dog dry.
Keep puddle jumping and salty paws to a minimum with booties or wellies. Not only will some smart footwear keep your dog’s paws warm and dry, your wooden floors, welcome mats and carpets will be better off as well.
Peeing in the Rain
Spring showers bring flowers but for some dogs, they bring a full bladder. Water-haters will do anything to avoid getting wet, and that includes holding it in- or letting it all out in all the wrong spots. Don’t presume your dog will take care of business on his own. For the ones who hate getting wet, it’s not just about their feet and backs – it’s all about the head. Keep your umbrella over your dog or, better yet, get them their own.
If your dog refuses to go outside, whether for fresh air or to potty, don’t give them free rein of the house. Keep them with you on a leash or in their crate. As the old saying goes: try, try again When they realize they can’t wait you out, and they simply can’t wait, they’ll eventually do the deed. And if the deed is done on the floor, consider using potty pads or an indoor dog potty to avoid future accidents. A tip on getting the dog to use the indoor potty is to get another dog to pee on it first!
Wet ‘n Wild
Some dogs hate getting wet so much that they refuse to go outside. For positive reinforcement, feed your dog on wet grass or snow-dusted ground. Try to create pleasant associations by playing with them or taking walks with lots of praise and treats. For smaller dogs that prefer to be carried, carry them halfway down the block before setting them on the ground.
Throw in the Towel
Winter, spring, summer or fall, a towel at hand is always a good idea. A quick-drying microfiber towel is a wet weather essential. Keep one by the door for a quick paw-wipe on your way in from a walk, and one in the car to dry off after a romp at the park. Your dog will love this towel’s soft, snuggly warmth, and you’ll love how much water it absorbs.
Ultimately, exercise, fresh air and, of course, companionship are what your dog needs! And when you’re away, Rover dog walkers are here to help make sure your dog has time outside time, rain or shine!