Cold Weather and Your Dog
If you’re like me, life is great if you can take you best friends everywhere with you, but it has to be a great idea for the dog too. What do I mean by that? Well, just because I would always be happiest if my dogs were with me, 24/7, that doesn’t always mean it’s the best thing for them and right now, just like in the summer, it might not always be the right time.
Sure, we go hiking almost everyday that I’m not at the fire station, but they’re fit dogs, with decent coats and even then, I’m always checking in to make sure they’re doing well. My “big guy” Rhylee, is a 10 year old, 42 lb. Heeler/Border Collie mix, even though he has a shorter coat, it’s pretty dense. That said, if we’re not moving constantly, he could get pretty cold up here in the northern part of the country and when we’re at the barn, I have to be even more cognizant of how the weather is affecting him because he’s not nearly as active there. That means that even in a heated indoor arena (40 F), I make sure he has a dog bed to keep him off the floor. Junebug, my 25 lb. VERY mixed breed J, has a full, thick, double coat and I’ve yet to see her get chilly, but I’m still always checking in with her, and she’s always the one that ends up on a trunk or table on the cold days at the barn (even with her perfectly nice bed on the ground). Rhylee has a great coat to wear on the chillier days, Junebug does too but mostly I put it on her so she feels included. If you have a smaller dog, I’d recommend a pretty good wardrobe for inclement weather, being closer to the ground does bring on a chill faster!
What both dogs have in common of course, are their paws, winter weather can wreak havoc on your pooches feet, so make sure they’re clean, not cracked and if you walk near salted roads, you absolutely have to clean those tootsies off when you get home. The salt, drier weather, cold air, and ice can cause cracks to form on the pads and that can lead to painful, bleeding paws. I’ve found that an application of coconut oil can work wonders on winter toes. Speaking of toes, Junebug’s are pretty fluffy, if your dog collects snowballs in between their toes, I’m sure you’ve noticed how painful that can be. A little careful clipping of the fluff and an application of that good old coconut oil can fix that problem right up!
Please give your dogs and cats a warm, safe place to live in your home, they aren’t equipped to survive the winter outside! They’re domestic pets, not the wild creatures they once were. See you next time with some more winter tips for happy dogs!