Winter doesn’t have to be a ruff season for you or your dog. Here are a few things to consider to help everyone make it through the cold.
The Clothes Make The Dog
Do dogs need additional clothing when the temperature drops? It depends on the size, breed, and age of the dog, as well as the length of their hair. Smaller breeds can definitely benefit from wearing a properly-sized sweater and booties.
What to Look Out For When Purchasing Clothes
Dogs would feel just as uncomfortable in an ill-fitting, too-tight, turtleneck sweater as we might. Make sure to measure arm, leg, and neck holes to ensure nothing is too loose or too tight. Try and bring your dog with you to try on the clothes before buying if possible.
The simpler a sweater is, the better. Extra parts hanging off the clothing, like zippers, ties or fringes, may look cute, but they’ll just get in the way and may even be a choking/chewing hazard.
It may take your dog some time to get used to wearing an extra layer. Pay close attention to how they feel and react to being in clothes, and let them adjust at their own pace.
Not all dogs appreciate wearing adorable clothing and may become disoriented or have difficulty coordinating their movements when wearing booties, sweaters, hats, or scarves.
If you notice your little guy or girl walking strangely – for example, making windmill motions with their legs – they may be simply trying to get the booties off.
Moisturizer Is Key
In this case, it’s very important to apply a pet balm to their feet before going for a walk as an extra layer of protection. Sidewalks, roads, and asphalt can become hazardous to everyone in the winter, and dogs are not immune to the effects of the salt and dirt that builds up outside as winter goes on. Make sure to thoroughly clean your dog’s feet after walks outside, and reapply the pet balm to moisturize and ensure their paws don’t get cracked or irritated.
When purchasing a balm, avoid any petroleum-based products as these may cause an upset stomach if accidentally ingested by your dog. Balms containing natural butters or oils are safe to use.
Watch Out For Antifreeze
Antifreeze, which tastes and smells sweet to your dog, can be lethal if ingested, even in small quantities. Be careful not to spill any liquid on your driveway when filling your car with antifreeze, as your dog may mistake it for a treat. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any strange spills during walks as well.
Depending on how cold it gets in your part of the world, you may consider investing in a heated bed or dog pad to keep your pet warm and cozy when temperatures drop below zero. Dogs are also more likely to have colds in the winter, so a comfortable sleeping area is key to ensure they get the rest they need for their immune system.
Winter doesn’t have to be terrible! With your dog properly protected, fun outdoor exercise can remain a joyful part of your daily routine.