4 Winter Tips for Dog Owners

Monday, January 22, 2018

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Look I get it, we're all sick of Winter and the messy frigid weather but we aren't alone. While some dogs enjoy the snow, most dogs can get a little stir crazy being cooped up inside and nearly freezing their paws off when they step out to potty. So today I put together 4 tips for dog owners that will help keep your dogs safe and happy during the Winter season.

Keep 'em cozy + warm.
Some breeds have thick coats that are perfect for chilly weather but many short-haired breeds and breeds (like Chihuahuas) are not fans of cold weather. I mean think about it, would you want to stand outside to poop while the wind is blowing you over? Probably not, so consider putting a sweater (with a collar or leash hook) on your pooch so they can stay a little warmer than usual while they do their business. I've even seen people putting little booties on their dog's paws but if your dogs are anything like mine they absolutely won't enjoy that and probably won't even move. Seriously, when mine don't want to wear something they freeze and act like they can't move until I take it off. Rocky enjoys bundling up to do his business so I don't feel so guilty about putting him in a sweater anymore.

People seriously laugh at me and at other people that dress up their dogs but they fail to realize we aren't just doing it for fun. Chihuahuas don't have a ton of fur on their bellies and they are very low to the ground so they get cold FAST! And half the time they can't even see over the snow. It's only right to make sure they are bundled up to keep warm in this weather.

Check 'em over.
On days where the weather is extreme and icy or snowy you should always check your dog's paws and fur for things that may make them uncomfortable. Clumps of snow that freeze into little ice balls can get so cold it's painful when stuck underneath their body or even in between their paw pads. Keep a flashlight near the door so you can inspect their paws for salt and ice. Salt can sometimes burn their paws so it's a good idea to find a pet-friendly salt for your walkway. 

If you see your dog licking their paws obsessively after you bring them inside, make sure there's nothing stuck underneath. Also keep in mind that just because the ground is covered with snow, doesn't mean there aren't hazardous things that can poke and stick them. When the dangers of thorns and rocks are covered with snow your dog could easily go galloping over them with excitement thinking they are just going to hit snow. This can cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises. This also leads into the next tip which is why it's good to shovel a pathway. 
Make Areas Off Limits
You’ll already know you’ll need to pet proof your home before bringing your dog home. You mightn’t have thought about doing the same for the outside, however. This is especially important during the winter, with the outdoors being too cold for them. Keeping them inside - and even using invisible dog fences - is an option for this. Only leave them out during the warmer hours so they don’t get sick.

Shovel a spot for them to go.
Whenever we shovel our walkway I always create a path that leads into the grass and forms a little circle so when Rocky has to do his number 2 business he has room to walk around and find where he wants to go. This way he isn't standing in a couple of inches of snow while he tries to go. Plus it makes cleaning up after him easier because I know where to look!

It's also safer for a dog to have a path to follow through snow so they aren't accidentally stepping over thorny bushes or sharp stones that you have in your landscaping.

Fight boredom.
Just like we get bored being stuck in the house, dogs get bored too. Some dogs are even known to get into more trouble and mischief from their boredom. Even though my dogs are tiny they still get bored because they can't go lay outside in the porch and if you follow me on social media you know that my dogs basically live in the porch in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

I always provide them with toys to keep them busy but I also love to give them treats to reward them for behaving and to keep them occupied. 

A fan favorite in our home are Blue Buffalo Blue Stix in Bacon Flavor from Chewy! These are soft so they're great for their little Chihuahua teeth but they are also made with USA pork as the first ingredient. There are wholesome ingredients inside and no by product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ANYTHING! When choosing treats make sure you aren't feeding "junk food" to your pet and make sure it's something safe that they can't choke on. I always stay in the room and monitor the dogs until they've finished their Stix which honestly doesn't take very long.

         Does your pooch enjoy this weather? 

photo ScreenShot2014-06-25at102225PM_zps4fdda517.png

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