Winter is here in Utah and it’s no secret that certain winter conditions require planning and preparation, from breaking out the puffy jackets to watching for a green light burn day to snuggle by the fire. What a lot of pet parents might not consider, however, is that their pets might need some preparation for the cold months, too!
It’s always important to keep in mind the ways you can ensure the safety and happiness of your pets. At The Dog’s Meow, we’re passionate about making sure our customers can get the answers they need to know about pet care, right down to the dangers that cold weather can present.
Here is our How-To guide for keeping your pets protected during the winter:
1. Provide An Extra Layer of Support to Your Dog’s Coat
Just because your pet wears a full-time fur coat doesn’t mean that it will keep them warm in all outdoor conditions. While many dog breeds, Newfoundland’s, Huskie’s, and St Bernard’s, do have thick coats and absolutely love the snow, others have thin coats and need protection to keep their body heat in.
If you care for an outdoor cats, make sure they have warm shelter, water and food.
For dog-walking, gradually get your dog acclimated if they aren’t use to the cold. For smaller dogs, or dogs with thin coats make sure they have their warm gear on and they should be good to go until they let you know when it’s time to go back. Here are some of our top recommendations for extra protection:
Kurgo Loft Jacket
For dogs, the Kurgo Loft Jacket is a must-have winter accessory. We love Kurgo because it’s multi-functional: reversible, water-resistant, and reflective. The loft jacket also allows access to your dog’s harness while remaining protective, lightweight, and warm.
Gold Paw Fleece Dog Pullovers
Equip your pup with the Gold Paw Stretch Fleece under his Kurgo jacket for extra warmth—a must for dogs with thin coats! Gold Paw uses premium dog fleece while remaining comfortable and breathable. We also love the variety of colors the fleece comes in, making it the perfect choice for nightly outings. Also a great choice for your dogs who stay home while the heat is turned down. Dog’s love the extra warmth while you are gone. Especially the small, short hair breeds.
2. Rethink How You Spend Time Indoors with your pet during the cold snaps
It is important to spend time outdoors in the winter to maintain your pets physical and mental health, but during those cold spells and the bad inversion days you can spend quality time playing games indoor, hide treats around the house and let them scavage to find them, use treat balls, take a class to keep him active and engaged. Teaching dogs new tricks can help satisfy your dogs need to be mentally active.
3. Keep Your Pets’ Paws Safe
Paw care during the winter months is crucial. Do your hands or knuckles get dry or cracked in cold weather? Your pup’s paws are just as sensitive, if not more!
If your pup has particularly furry paws, be sure to have your groomer (or you) trim between his toes and pads to avoid snow or ice build-up. Watch out for sidewalk salt—it can burn your pet’s paws, and is toxic if ingested. For these reasons, it’s best to look into buying shoes, boots, and/or applying protectant balms for paws for your pup. Here are some of The Dog’s Meow’s favorite recommendations for paw care during the winter months:
Safe Paw Ice Melter
100% salt-free, Safe Paw Ice Melter is the safest and most effective alternative to rock salt. Not only is Safe Paw guaranteed to melt ice, but it won’t damage your property—it’s non-corrosive, too. The only one who can claim Pet safe.
Musher's Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax
We love Musher’s Secret because it’s reliable year-round paw protector. Musher’s Secret will protect your pet’s paws from ice, snow, non pet friendly snow melt, hot sand, and hot pavement. Apply before any outdoor activity to keep your pet’s paws healthy and keep those snowballs from building up on your long haired dogs.
Natural Dog Company's Pawtection
Pawtection is another great choice for year-round protection, especially since Natural Dog Company’s balms are formulated with all-natural, vegan, and organic ingredients. Nourish and protect your pets’ paws with a wax barrier to keep him safe outdoors!
Pawz Water-Proof Dog Boot
Made with all-natural materials, Pawz dog boots are flexible, but stay on. This water-proof dog boot will help with traction in slippery conditions, but is also a great accessory for dogs with sensitive allergies.
Dog Mocs Leather Booties
These boots are for the adventurous pups in the crowd! Love going with you on snow adventures. The soft deerskin, allowing your dog to feel grounded on different terrains.
They come in pairs, allowing you to buy different sizes if your dogs back paws are a different size than their front paws. Also make a good choice for paws that are healing.
4. Make Sure Your Pet is Getting the Right Daily Calories
What you might not realize is that your pets burn more energy as they try to keep warm during the colder months. If your pet is particularly active, you could supplement the extra calorie-burn with goat milk added to high-quality foods. This will help add moisture, good fatty acids, probiotics, digestive enzymes and minerals. Adding high protein based treats while on an outdoor adventure along with fresh H2O when out and about with your pups should make them happy and satisfied.
On the other hand, some pets get less exercise during the winter time since it’s chilly outdoors, so for those inactivity pups, watch those treats that might be adding calories. In general, it’s good to pay attention to your pets’ calorie intake in accordance with how active he or she is.