Winter Weather and Proper Dog Care
Having a dog is a rewarding experience, but when the snow starts to fly and the winter weather kicks in, you realize that there are just a few challenges that come with this companion you’ve brought into your home. Dog walking in snow isn’t quite as pleasurable as walking on a warm spring day, and when you’re trying to balance life with dogs and babies you add an additional challenge when winter gear is a must. Here are some tips for winter dog care that can make it just a little easier to manage your dog’s needs even in the winter months.
Tips for Dog Walking in Snow
One of the primary concerns you have in the winter is ensuring your dog gets enough outside time for potty needs and exercise. If you live in an apartment or a home without a yard, this means multiple walks daily. One way to avoid the hassle of bundling up the entire family for these daily walks is to schedule them at a time when your significant other is home, so someone can stay with the kids.
If your walks must include dogs and babies, use a stroller if possible. This allows you to toss a blanket over the child to avoid the need for a full snowsuit and gloves. On days when you simply cannot take the kids out, consider hiring a dog walking service. Paper training is another option to consider to avoid the cold weather walks.
Protecting Your Pet
When dog walking in snow, ice or cold weather, be sure to protect your pet. The pads of dogs’ feet are prone to frostbite and damage from toxic ice melting salts, warns the Spot Canine Club, so limit walks to 30 minutes or less on extremely cold days. Consider investing in booties or paw wax for your dog’s feet. If you’re wondering about doggy sweaters, the New York Times indicates only extremely small dogs or dogs with thin coats of fur really need them, though they don’t hurt to use.
Dealing with Messes in the Snow
I see dog pee everywhere on the streets in Brooklyn. It is gross. Stop it.
When there’s snow on the ground, your dog’s mess is going to be harder to hide. To avoid yellow or brown snow spots, pick a potty area that’s less conspicuous, or consider scooping out an area down to the grass for your dog’s potty needs.
Winter is one of the more challenging seasons to own a dog, but there are benefits. When you come home after a long, cold day, you have a warm companion who is ready for snuggles! By embracing these winter dog care tips, you can get through the cold season well.
Nicole Jones is a freelance writer who frequently writes about pets, travel, and real estate topics.