Has your dog ever been in the snow? Most active dogs love it. They are like kids, romping and running in the fresh powder. There are, however, a few things that you need to know if you plan on taking Fido on a snow vacation, especially if they are not used to the cold.
1. Check Your Dog's FeetThe snow can get stuck in between their paws, which can cause cuts or other damage. Check often and dry them off after coming indoors. You can apply petroleum jelly to protect their feet from drying and cracking. Keep the feet hair trimmed, but not too short, to help prevent ice from forming.
2. Booties for Fido. If you plan on being in the snow for a long period of time, you may want to consider booties for Fido. Many companies make them and will help keep their feet warm and safe. If they Fido doesn't do well with booties, then try the latex ones or Musher's Secret; it is a waxy substance that can be applied to their feet to protect them from ice, salt or other elements.
3. Keep Your Dog HydratedDogs, like people, can get dehydrated when exercising in the cold. Make sure Fido drinks plenty of water if running a lot. Dogs also burn more calories in the cold; so give them a little extra food or a few more healthy treats.
4. Stay Warm in a Winter CoatMost dogs' fur will keep them warm, but if you have a short haired dog, especially one that is used to being in the house, you may want to buy a sweater or jacket and limit their time outside.
5. Exercise With FidoThe following are four exercises to do with your dog in the snow:
- Have a snow ball fight: Dogs like to chase and catch snowballs.
- Have a race in the snow: See who can run the fastest in the powder.
- Try a new sport: If you have a dog that is used to running distances, take Fido cross-country skiing
- Give Skijoring a try: You and your dog may like skijoring; the dog is hooked to a harness and pulls you while you are on skis. Obviously small dogs can't take part, but most big dogs would love to pull you.
Have fun with Fido in the snow; just keep your pup safe and warm.
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