Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Do We Protect Our Dogs From The Cold?

Our guys just love the Winter and cannot get enough of it.

They live indoors, of course, so all we have to worry about is safety during their walks and outings. They have good thick undercoat, there isn't a whole lot to worry about. There are things to consider, though.

Our guys find the cold and snow very invigorating. In other words, they go wild.

I haven't seen any of our guys get cold yet.

One thing that we do keep in mind are their feet. We take our walks in the woods but some exposure to salted side walks is inevitable in order to get to the truck and back. Also, when it gets really cold with high windchill, the feet do get uncomfortable.

It's easy to tell, because they will lift the affected paw and fuss about it.

Because it got quite cold now, about -17° Celsius with the windchill, we pulled out our Invisible Boot and make sure we apply it before the walk. Friends in the US use Muscher's Secret. These products are the same idea.

Our guys don't need this all the time, only on the really cold days.

Trimming the fur between the pads as needed also helps prevent ice balls.

This may or may not be a problem for your dog. Jasmine never had this issue but her last Winter it was growing really long. The long fur between the pads makes all surfaces more slippery and does collect ice. Roxy used to have this problem all the time. Back then we didn't realize we could just trim it back.

Regular brushing gets the blood and nutrients flowing to the skin and helps distribute the natural oils.

When it gets really cold, below -20° Celsius, which often ends up being -30° with the windchill, then we worry about freezing lungs and restrict the activity outdoors.

Only once we used a coat—well, actually it was a baby horse blanket—for Jasmine when it was really cold and she had about half of her body shaved off for surgeries.

Ice, and deep crusty snow are another winter enemies.

We always have some sand on hand and sometimes we have to be careful where and how we going to take our walks to avoid injuries. Apparently, the ToeGrips seem to work very well on ice too, so I'll be curious to find out.

That's about it for the Winter challenges for our dogs.

They thrive in the cold weather and can't get enough of the snow.

What challenges does the Winter present for your dog?

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