7 Tips for Caring for Your Dog in the Cold


With the winter season in full swing, snow becomes a common sight. Both loved and hated, snow is usually inevitable. However, there are some good ways to prep for it, especially with making sure your dog is ready for the snow.

My dog personally loves the snow—she spends hours out there rolling about and having a total blast.

If it’s especially cold or there’s a lot of rock salt, put booties on your dog’s paws. This will help protect their pads. If their pads do start to crack, use a moisturizer, like Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax, to help them heal.

Taking Care of Business

Nobody wants to stay out in the cold longer than they need to, so have a cleared-out area in your yard that your dog can comfortably use for bathroom breaks when the snow begins to pile high.

Acclimate Your Dog to the Cold

Keep an eye on your dog while they are outside. If they start shivering or lifting their paws up, it’s time to come in. Over time, they may become acclimated to the cold and can stay out longer, but always make sure to keep an eye on them. Jackets and cold weather vests may help to keep your pup warm.

Layer Up

Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they’ll stay warm. Not all coats are meant for colder climates, so you need to make sure that your dog is comfy and warm when they go out. Dogs of various sizes and weight react to the cold differently, and smaller dogs are especially prone to feel the effects of colder temperatures.

Beware of Rock Salt and Antifreeze

According to Purina, rock salt and antifreeze are concerns for dogs. Rock salt, though not toxic, can irritate their paws and may cause an upset stomach. Antifreeze, on the other hand, is lethal if consumed. The sweet-tasting fluid is usually blue or green, and can be found on sidewalks, driveways, and near cars. Make sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when you come inside to remove any unwanted or dangerous residue.

Make sure to use pet safe rock salt on your driveway, such as Safe Paw Ice Melter.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Dogs can get dehydrated in the winter just as easily as they can in the summer. Eating snow is not advised—even fresh snow may hold chemicals, pollution (snow is great at absorbing pollution) and other possibly dangerous things for your dog. It’s better to have them drink from a trustworthy source like a dog bowl.

When you join BYOD, you receive an annual membership box that contains responsible dog ownership essentials, including a collapsible bowl. Learn more here.

Stay Dry and Warm

Once your dog comes in from outside, make sure to wipe off the snow and dry them off. Not only will this prevent a mess in your home, but it will also protect your dog. The snow may have rock salt or antifreeze in it, and if your dog tries to remove the snow themselves, they may irritate their fur and skin with excessive licking and chewing.

Using these tips will ensure a safe, happy, and warm winter for both you and your pooch.

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