While living in Canada you are likely to experience snowy days in the winter. With snow comes extra preparation and care to protect your furry friend. Just as us humans need to use caution in cold weather for ourselves, so too do we need to for our pets. Just because it is snowing outside does not mean we can neglect our dogs’ needs for exercise. You can continue to take your dogs for walks outside in the snow, you just need to be prepared and take extra safety precautions. The following is a list of tips to follow that will help you to care for your dog when taking walks in the snow.
Ways to Protect your Dog when Walking in the Snow:
- Protect your dog’s delicate feet with doggie boots.
- Use paw protection balm such as Musher’s Secret.
- Trim nails for better traction.
- Keep hair between paw pads trimmed short during the winter months to prevent discomfort due to the formation of ice balls in this area on a hairy dog.
- Prevent your dog from pulling. Pulling increases the risk of fall related injuries especially when the roads and sidewalks may be slippery with ice.
- Limit time outdoors. This is especially important for short-haired breeds.
- Short-haired breeds may benefit from use of a sweater.
- Stick to snow covered areas whenever possible versus melted snow areas covered in salt. Salt grit can be harmful to your dog’s paws as it contains chemicals which can produce burns on paws with prolonged contact.
- Avoid areas with frozen bodies of water. The weight of your dog may cause a potential break in thin ice and risk him falling through.
- Pay attention to signs that your dog is getting cold such as shivering or lifting paws. Head back home as soon as possible to prevent cold related illnesses.
- Lifting a paw or limping may be due to discomfort from chemical irritation to his paws from the salt. Wipe off your dog’s paw pads and remove any ice balls that may cause discomfort.
- Wash or wipe your dog’s paws down thoroughly after a walk to get rid of salts.
- If it feels too cold out for you, then it is probably too cold out for your dog!
Now that you know some useful tips for keeping your dog safe in the snow get out there and have some fun in it!