Caring for your pup in winter

So the weather outside is frightful. That means stay indoors, right? Well, sadly, remaining indoors all winter isn’t really an option. There will be times you and your dog have to venture out into the cold and snow. To do that, you know how you should dress. You’ve got your coat, scarf, boots and gloves to keep you warm. But what about your pet? What do they need to get them through a trip out into winter weather?

There are some people who think, hey, they’re dogs, they’re okay outside, right? Wrong. Animals in the wild prepare for winter, and they can suffer from its effects. So can your furry companion. It’s important to make sure your dog has what they need to deal with the cold.

Dogs need a coat. Sure, they have fur, and we often refer to that as their “coat”. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need extra layers to face wintry weather. Getting your pup a sweater or other winter clothing will help them retain their body heat while you’re outside.

Don’t stay out too long. Exercise is important even during the cold months, but long walks can mean too much exposure to bad weather. Remember that even though you and your chihuahua may have moved to the snowy north, they still aren’t genetically prepared to survive outdoors for long periods in snowy weather. Dogs can get frostbite on their ears and their tails as well as their feet. So it’s best to limit the amount of time you and they are out in the cold.

There are other ways you can make winter playtime safer for your dog. If they’re out in the snow, there are dog booties to help protect their feet. You also need to take extra care to keep their feet clean due to substances such as deicer that may be used where they walk. If needed, you can moisturize their paws.

So, with caution and care, you both can enjoy a short walk in a winter wonderland. And later, both of you will also enjoy a roaring fire indoors. Or even just a snuggle on the couch.