Winter is approaching, and your dog is preparing by romping through the leaves. It can take your pup anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to adjust to a sudden change in temperature. Some breeds are better built for it, such as Huskies and Bernese Mountain Dogs. But if your dog has a short coat or if they’re extra-sensitive to the cold, there are some additional ways to prepare your pooch!
Cold weather doesn’t need to disappoint your pup. Preparing them for the cold will keep them excited for evening strolls, and playtime in the snow.
1. Don’t Forget to Trim Their Paw Hair
When it starts getting wet in winter, snow, sleet, and ice are going to hamper your pups’ outdoor excursions. Make sure the hair between their paws is trimmed, so that ice doesn’t build up and create frostbite as they walk with you.
If they have booties on, it won’t be as much as a problem. With quick walks, if their hair is trimmed and kept from dragging on the cold ground, they’ll be thankful and comfortable. Don’t deny your pooch a paw-dicure.
2. Dog Footwear is Bootie-licious
Dogs are not fans of footwear. They’re used to their rugged and durable pads protecting them on gravel and in dirt. But during winter, their paws can get slick and cold, and cause traction on any ice.
Get Your Dog Adjusted With Booties
-Reward them with treats
-Keeping them on for short periods of time
-Praise them when they don’t lick or bite at them
-Play with them while the booties are on your dog, so they associate booties with something positive
As your dog adjusts, they’re getting ready for winter fun! Don’t forget to bring the treats on outdoor excursions to encourage them on walks too.
3. Raise the Dog House
If your furry friend has a dog house they like to take shelter-in outside, elevate it off the ground by a few inches. It will prevent them from getting blocked in from snow and help them stay warmer by being off the ground. Keep the dog house insulated with hay and blankets and a dog flap, of course, so that their refuge will have a more stable temperature when they take a doggy-nap.
4. Blankets, Heating Pads, and Sweaters, Oh My!
Some dogs just love being wrapped in a blanket. Who doesn’t? If your four-legged friend gets too cold outside, dry them off and wrap them up as soon as possible. Putting a heating pad under a blanket for them is a great way to quickly increase their temperature, as long as you’re monitoring them.
You can also dress your dog in cute sweaters (and booties) for longer outdoor playtime, if they’re adjusting well to the cold. Just don’t forget to put a reflective vest on or a collar light, to keep them visible in the snowy night.
How Long Can Your Dog Stand the Cold?
Your furry friend still needs adequate exercise in water, and they’ll enjoy the chance to stretch their legs and breathe in the fresh air. But most dogs don’t do well in the cold for more than 30-minutes at 20 degrees. If it’s between 0-20 degrees, then reduce that time in half.
Winter Cuddles are Coming
Spending chilly evenings on the couch with your best friend is relaxing. Your dog will love spending the extra time with you, while you both have an excuse to unwind and take shelter from the winter wonderland. Your dog is sure to let you know if they’re uncomfortable with the changing temperature, like when they stick their damp cold nose against your leg.
So be receptive to your dog’s signals, and keep them indoors and warm after playtime, and your holiday season is sure to go off without a hitch.