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Sandra January 17, 2024

Keeping Your Pup Cozy on Frigid Walks

In the middle of winter, we know temperatures can really plummet when living somewhere with four seasons. As dog owners, we must ensure that our furry babies stay warm and comfortable during outdoor walks. When temperatures drop to -6 or even -27 degrees Celsius (hello, Canadian winters), or even more, it's essential to take extra precautions to protect your dog from the biting cold. 

Invest in Quality Winter Gear:

Investing in appropriate winter gear is one of the most effective ways to shield your dog from the cold. Consider getting a well-fitted, insulated dog coat that covers the chest and belly, providing extra warmth. Boots designed for dogs can protect their paws from ice, salt, and cold surfaces. Additionally, a snug-fitting hat or ear warmers can be beneficial, especially for breeds with shorter hair or those more susceptible to the cold.

Layering for Added Warmth:

Layering isn't just for humans – it can benefit your dog too! For particularly chilly days, layer your pup with a thermal or fleece-lined sweater beneath their winter coat. This extra layer of insulation will help trap body heat and keep your dog toasty during the coldest of walks.

Paw Protection is Paramount:

Protecting your dog's paws is crucial during winter walks, as ice, snow, and salt on the sidewalks can be harsh on their sensitive paw pads. Invest in dog-friendly boots to provide insulation and prevent frostbite. Depending on the weather, you can also apply a thin layer of pet-safe paw balm instead to create a barrier against the cold. Be sure to wipe your dog's paws after the walk to remove any debris.

Shorten Walks and Choose Sunnier Times:

During extremely cold weather, it's advisable to shorten the duration of your walks. Opt for shorter walks to minimize exposure to the cold and more exercise sessions indoors! Additionally, try to schedule walks during the sunniest part of the day when temperatures may be slightly warmer. Keep a close eye on your dog for signs of discomfort, and if they begin lifting their paws or shivering, it's time to head home!

Stay Active to Generate Heat:

Encourage your dog to stay active during the walk to generate body heat. This not only helps them stay warm but also adds an element of fun to the winter outing. I don't like having Lambo run too much because I don't want him to get too much cold air in his throat at once or huff and puff the cold air.

Be Mindful of Age and Breed:

Certain dog breeds and older dogs may be more susceptible to the cold. Short-haired breeds, small dogs, and seniors may require additional protection. Be mindful of your dog's individual needs, and consider adjusting your winter gear and routine accordingly.

I can tell you that a husky will not need as many layers as a toy poodle!

Winter walks can be enjoyable for both you and your dog with a little extra preparation, so bundle up, leash up, and enjoy the winter wonderland! :)