Winter care for your dog

winter care for your dogIt’s winter, which means that much of the United States is snow-covered and cold. Even warmer regions like Florida often experience cooler weather, more rain, and even freezing temperatures. Cold, snowy weather doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t take your canine companion outside for playtime and walks. It does mean you need to be extra attentive to the weather forecast and outdoor conditions. Here’s how to help keep your dog safe and happy this winter, no matter where you live. Winter care for your dog. 

Winter care for your dog – cold and Snow

If you live in the northern United States, you and your dog might already be acclimated to the weather, especially if you spend lots of time outside hiking and playing. Cold, icy conditions can still be dangerous to your pet, especially short-haired dogs. Just as you aren’t comfortable without proper winter attire, your pet won’t be either. Although you won’t hear your dog moan and groan about a walk through inches of snow, with a cold wind blowing – if they could talk, here’s what they might say:

  • “It would be so nice to have a warm jacket around my torso. Just that extra layer of material keeps my whole body toasty.”
  • “When I’m playing in the snow, I don’t see sharp rocks and other hazards hidden under it. A cut to my paw not only looks scary with red splotches in the snow, but it hurts and makes me limp. I might learn to like those little doggie boots you bought me.” Winter care for your dog.
  • “Sometimes when we’re walking on sidewalks, you don’t notice the salt and chemicals scattered around them to melt the ice. It can irritate my paws, and when we come in the house, I lick it off to make my feet feel better. Some of those chemicals can be dangerous to me and make me sick. I wish you would clean my paws when we come inside.”

When temperatures cool down, dogs can be uncomfortable, especially in warmer climates. If your pet is used to 70 degree weather, then plays outside when it’s suddenly in the low 50s, that quick temperature drop could make her miserable. Have her wear a light jacket or sweater for your walks or outdoor playtime.

Winter care for your dog – Indoor play options

When it’s too cold, icy, or rainy to spend more than a “potty-break moment” outside, you can still make sure your pet enjoys plenty of playtime and works off some energy. If you are fortunate to live near a doggie day care with indoor play facilities, let your pet spend a few hours romping safely with other dogs.

If you prefer to stay at home, there are still games you can play with your dog to keep him moving. Just pull out his favorite indoor toys, and play a nice game of fetch, or a little tug of war, or work on some simple tricks and training refreshers. It’s all fun and games for him. Winter care for your dog. 

Since your pet will be spending more time inside when it’s really cold or miserable outside, make sure you wash her blankets and beds more often to remove tracked-in dirt and mud. This can keep her more comfortable and healthier over the winter.

All of us at Daily Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters hope these tips can help you and your dog enjoy safe quality time together, no matter the weather. We are always available for your questions and your pet sitting needs. Here are more safety tips from the American Kennel Club.

Thank you all so much for trusting us to take care of your most precious pets. We hope you have a healthy and happy New Year, filled with lots of love and laughter.

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