Dogs are cute, but dogs in snow are even more adorable, especially when they romp, pounce, and play in powder. Give yourself and Fido the gift of the ultimate snow day with these tips for taking your dog outside in winter.
Protect Their Feet
Snow and ice can get stuck in between Fido's pads, causing cuts and discomfort. Check the paws often and dry them off after coming indoors. If you plan on being in the snow for a long period of time, consider booties for Fido. They can keep their feet warm and safe from the elements. If they don't do well with booties, try Musher's Secret, a waxy substance that can be applied to your pup's feet to protect them from ice, salt and other elements.
You can also keep the feet hair trimmed, but not too short, to help prevent ice from forming. And if you want to give them the full treatment, apply petroleum jelly to protect their feet from drying and cracking.
Provide Plenty of Water
Dogs, like people, can get dehydrated when exercising in the cold. Make sure they drink plenty of water if they're running around a lot. They also burn more calories in the snow and cold so give them a little extra food or a few more healthy treats to keep them energized.
Keep Them Warm
Most dogs' coats are thick enough to keep them warm in winter, but if you have a short-haired dog, especially one that's used to being in the house, buy a sweater or jacket, or limit their time outside.
Play With Them
Dogs make perfect play pals on snowy days. Try the following fun exercises the next time you play with your dogs in the snow:
- Have a snowball fight. Dogs like to chase and catch snowballs.
- Have a race in the snow and find out who can run the fastest in powder.
- If your dog is used to running distances, take them cross-country skiing.
- Try Skijoring. This is where your dog is hooked to a harness and pulls you while on skis. This is not an exercise for small dogs but a lot of big dogs love to pull.
Take advantage of winter days and get outside with your dogs in the snow.
Sign up for a dog-friendly activity.