Some fuzzballs such as your playful, yet aloof husky love when the snow covers every inch of your yard, preferably ear-high so that they can roll around blissfully for hours on end. Other breeds, let’s say, your hairless Xolo, might not be too perky come wintertime. Mixed breeds might seem like super-doggos sometimes considering their exceptional resilience and street smarts, but they also prefer to be comfortably toasty instead of in the freezing cold.
The verdict? You should go out of your way to make winter as fun and safe for your pooch as possible. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when the weather becomes too harsh for your pooch. Thankfully, there are simple and very effective preparation strategies to do just that, without overwhelming your budget. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when the weather becomes too harsh for your pooch.
Prep your backyard properly
You may have zero control over the weather, but you can certainly make quite a difference for the environment you create in your own yard. For starters, before the heavy snowfall comes, check all of your rain gutters and other nooks in case they need cleaning. You don’t want your pooch in danger of any icicles hanging from your roof!
Next, check if your fence is ready for the challenge of winter. Maybe there’s a loose post somewhere, or the gate needs tweaking. Mow the lawn, clear the yard of any items that could become invisible under piles of snow and get your dog injured mid-play, and you’re good to go.
Use a shed to store your stuff
Having a yard to begin with is a major plus for dog parents, but you also likely do some gardening here and there, which means that you use a slew of different tools and accessories for any garden work. Keep fertilizers, tools, and other items safely stored in your shed, and away from your furry companion, because winter is already enough of a slippery slope for Fido as it is.
Safety pawcautions for your pal
With your yard prepared and winter locked and loaded, you can start preparing your dog’s winter style, too. Some short-haired breeds need the extra layer of warmth, especially in areas where the winter cold packs quite a chilly punch, so a water-resistant doggy coat is a good idea.
When your rascal needs some playtime (and to go potty, of course), bring out your waterproof hammock to provide your pupperino some shelter and make sure you can keep an eye on his movements. That way, you can minimize the effects of the cold weather and still spend some quality time outside.
Be the supervisor at all times
Supervising your dog during long stretches of cold weather is pivotal for their safety and health. It’s up to you to see if Balto might have slipped and injured his knee, or if Luna managed to cut her little paw pads while playing. This is also the only way you can notice if your dog is getting too cold, and what is the optimal time for them to spend outside to do their business without wreaking havoc on their health.
Of course, larger breeds handle the cold pretty well, provided that they are healthy to begin with, but it’s always wise to consult a local vet and be aware of the forecast in time so that you can adapt your dog’s schedule for walks and pee breaks.
Check for paw troubles regularly
One of the most common issues that goes by unnoticed by pooch parents includes cracked paws, caused by severe cold or simply too much time in cold weather outside without any protection for their pads. Sometimes, the cuts and cracks may lead to bleeding, which can become an even more complicated matter in case of an infection.
Before and after every walk, do a thorough checkup of your good boi’s paws, and especially between each toe, because you’d be surprised just how many things can get lodged there without you noticing in time. To make sure you can prevent any cracking, use an ointment or a cream after every walk that helps their sensitive paws heal with greater ease.
When those winters become too harsh or your dog already struggles with sensitive health or old age, you need to be careful and it’s better to make several shorter breaks during the day and cut those walks short. In any scenario, keep these tips at hand and use them wisely so that your furry friend and you can enjoy another winter of play and joy sans the worry!