Here in Canada, “winter is coming”!
And although some folks like to embrace the cold weather by partaking in winter sports or outdoor activities, many prefer to watch the beauty of the season from under our cozy blankets, indoors, and warm.
But do you know who else is affected by the changing weather outside? Our pets! Especially dogs. And unless you have a Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Saint Bernard, or any other large breed suited for winter wonderlands, your dog will feel the chill from Jack Frost just like us! So when the snowy weather comes this year, what are some ways to help keep your pup warm, comfortable, and safe?
Keep an eye on the temperature
Just like you and me, dogs are sensitive to temperature, whether it’s the fierce rays of a summer day’s sunshine, or the bone chilling wind gusts of a February storm. So it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the weather and temperature before em-bark-ing on a walk. Of course, the general ‘safe’ temperature to have your dog outside is going to change based on the size and breed of your dog. A Chihuahua will definitely start shivering before a Tibetan Mastiff, for example. So know your dog, and keep an eye on them for signs of them being uncomfortable. For an idea of the approximate temperature to consider a ‘no-go’ zone for walks and outdoor time, 9 degrees Celsius (or 48 degrees Fahrenheit) is generally too cold for most small and medium-sized dogs.
Is there snow? If so, how deep?
Some winters, we experience dastardly cold temperatures without seeing a flake of snow fall from the sky! But others, we get hit by a snowstorm so huge, it rivals planet Hoth from Star Wars. And because there aren’t any Tauntauns around to keep ourselves warm, we need to seek out other methods of protecting ourselves from the snow. For some dogs, especially the bigger, winter excited breeds, snow creates a playground to frolic in. But for others – especially small breeds – snow can be an unpleasant experience to try to navigate through. Imagine yourself, the size of a wee Pomeranian pup, trying to get through a sidewalk with four foot snow drifts. Doesn’t sound very fun, does it? So depending on the depth of snow, the size of your dog, and where you plan on walking them (sidewalks, fields, trails, etc.) try to be aware of how difficult getting through the snow could be before uttering the phrase “wanna go for a walk?” to your furry friend.
Dress for the occasion
Getting your dog a new outfit doesn’t just have to be for Halloween or costume parties. In fact, a lot of pet owners have integrated winter-wear into their pet’s wardrobe permanently. And although not every dog is going to be happy about a new pair of booties and matching jacket, a lot of them will be grateful for the extra protection from winter’s conditions! Try seeing what your local pet shops have to offer for wearables. And if your dog is hesitant to try boots or a coat, try positive re-enforcement with treats, or simply give them time to adjust and adapt to their new ensemble.
Protect your dog’s paws from cracking due to sidewalk salt
If you typically walk your dog on sidewalks, in paved areas, or the city, it’s likely that they will be walking on a lot of salt this winter. Not only can the sharp crystals of salt potentially irritate or even break your dog’s skin, the dryness of the salt can create discomfort, cracking, and drying of their paw beds. That doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it? One way to help protect their paws and nose from irritation and cracking is to use a protectant salve like our Paw and Nose Balm. Paw and Nose Balm is applied directly to your pet’s paws or nose before and/or after walks to help soothe dryness and discomfort.
We hope this winter brings you and your pets adventure, great memories, and – of course – tasty treats!
Do you have any other tips or tricks you use in the winter to help keep your dog’s toasty and warm, even on the coldest winter walks? Let us know at @OnlyOneTreats on Instagram!
To learn more about our Paw and Nose Balm, click the button below!SHOP NOW