Wintertime invariably means snow …. well *sometimes* it means snow here in East Tennessee.
But if this winter is anything like the last, then we’ll likely have our fair share of the white stuff! This can be such a fun time for dogs, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take certain precautions.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
With snow comes salt and chemicals on the roads. If your pooch loves taking his walks when the white stuff is everywhere, be extra mindful of where he steps. If at all possible, keep him on the sidewalk away from heavy duty chemicals that can do real harm.
Chemicals and salt are hard on pups’ pads. In addition, whatever is on their paws ends up in their mouths. We really don’t want that to happen. Some of it can be extremely harmful to your dog’s health.
There are some ways to protect him. There is dog friendly salt that can be used wherever the typical melting salt is used. It may not work quite as well, but at least you know that you’re not harming your dog.
You can also get little ‘snow boots’ for him for those walks he loves so much. It might take some time for him to get used to them, so practice plenty before putting them into practical use. Your pooch just may not agree with your style of footwear!
Cover Them Up
Depending on the kind of coat your pooch has, it might be beneficial to have him wear a coat or sweater if he’s going to be outside for any length of time. It can help greatly if they like to romp around and spray snow everywhere!
Snow boots can also come in handy for this situation. Imagine how cold their paws get stepping in that snow and ice for any length of time. Whew! If they get too dry and cold, some major damage could be done to their pads.
As you’re playing, take note if they start picking up their paws when they’re standing or shivering. That’s a sign they’re getting too cold and uncomfortable — even when they want to keep playing!
Where There’s Snow There’s Ice
Ice can be a great danger to dogs’ paws. Have you ever seen snow and ice clumps gather between their toes and nails? That’s not a good thing.
One way to help prevent this is to trim the hair on their paws. It gives the snow less to grab onto and reduce the likelihood of ice being able to form. And yes, those trusty little boots would help with this as well.
What is Too Deep?
Sometimes dogs jump in more snow than they can handle. When the snow is deep and the dog is small, it could be very strenuous for a smaller pup. It takes a lot of effort to run through this snow and they can easily overexert themselves. Watch for signs that your dog might be struggling and get him inside right away.
Dogs Get Frostbite?
Their little (or large) nose and ears can be very susceptible to the cold. When it’s frigid outside, don’t let them run free for too long. Give them breaks to get warmed up inside, and then turn them loose again!