Snow or No Snow- Get Outside This Winter with Your Dog
Dogs love to play outside and it keeps them vibrant and healthy. Cold winter weather is often a deterrent for dog owners to stay inside. Don’t be put off by the cold temps, all year round your pet needs time to exercise, stretch their legs, and get their heart pumping. Preparing for winter will help both you and your canine still get much needed outdoor time without freezing in the process.
Backyard Play Areas
Some dogs enjoy lots of outside time and have a covered sleeping space where they can relax in nature. Insulated dog kennels and runs keep our canine companions warm while they exercise. Dog runs are an excellent way to burn off energy and provide freedom from inside confines. Keep walkways clear of snow and ice to help the dog become more comfortable in the winter conditions. Consider keeping a section of the yard also cleared for the dog to play.
Winter Dog Apparel
The obvious choice to keep your pet warm is outerwear. There are limitless options in stores and online. Many dogs do not like the cold snow and ice on their paws. Dog booties are a great solution if the dog will wear them. When putting them on the first few times be sure to reward them with treats and attention then get straight outdoors. This will help them forget they are wearing booties while creating positive associations.
Dog jackets, sweaters, and hats come in different materials for each level of warmth needed. There are options for all dog sizes from toy to large breeds. Most dogs are alright with outerwear as long as it doesn’t rub or irritate their skin.
Seasonal Grooming Adjustments
During the cold winter months dog skin tends to get dry just like human skin. Regular brushing of their fur can help reduce matting while also combatting dry skin there but is an even better solution. Adding a supplement like coconut oil or fish oil can promote a healthy coat and moisturized skin.
After outdoor time if the dog gets wet or muddy they will need a bath to prevent them from taking a chill. Salt used to melt ice can also irritate dog paws. Another great tip is to make sure that they don’t lay too close to space heaters even when they are cold. It can be dangerous to them. Instead, when they come back inside bring them to the bath and use one of the many great shampoo and conditioners that moisturize skin.
Just because winter has arrived doesn’t mean that walks and outdoor playtime have to stop. Prepare the backyard for playtime with insulated kennels and runs. Clearing snow from walkways also is recommended. Outerwear for dogs can keep them warm and dry even on snowy days. Adjusting grooming for the season also will help the dog to maintain healthy moisturized skin. These tips will help pet owners to get the most out of winter with their favorite companion.