Winter Safety Tips for Dogs

We love to bring our furry friends on all sorts of adventures, from hiking to backcountry skiing and everything in between. However, just like it’s crucial that you have the proper gear and safety procedures to stay safe in the winter, it’s also important that you take precautions to keep your pup safe, healthy, and happy all winter long. Here are some tips for cold weather safety for your canine!

Protect the Paws

You wouldn’t head outside in the snow without foot protection, so neither should your furry pal. There are a wide variety of products to protect your pup’s paws regardless of where you both may roam. For walks around the block on cold mornings, use a waxy jelly to cover their pads. Musher’s Secret goes on and in between paw pads easily and hardens upon contact with the snow. The protective coating minimizes the impact of cold temps on sensitive paws. When your walk is over, the wax will wipe right off.

Know Your Dog’s Limits

Similar, to humans, young puppies and older dogs are more prone to injury and illness, as their bodies are either still developing or are especially frail. Pay attention to your dog on neighborhood walks in the cold and notice how they respond to chilly sidewalks, snow drifts, and icy patches. If your furry friend seems to love the cold and have limitless energy, you’d most likely be safe bringing them on a long, cold hike. However, if your dog moves slowly and gets cold quickly, they may not be well equipped for a full day’s worth of winter adventuring.

Bundle Up

This tip is especially important for short-haired dogs. Find a snug-fitting outer layer for your pup during winter walks to keep their core temperature up. While they are sure to enjoy playing in the snow, they’ll work up a sweat and be even chillier on the way back. Make sure your dog is comfortable and safe during longer jaunts outside in the winter months. Dogs with long hair may also benefit from a warm layer, but it’s wise to consult with your vet to see if a dog-jacket is appropriate or overkill.

Look out for Thin Ice

Just because a lake looks frozen doesn’t mean it is. Since Boulder is prone to warm, sunny winter days, many of our ponds, lakes, and streams only freeze part-way. Keep your dog on a lease when around these bodies of water so they don’t run out on thin ice. If your pup does happen to fall in, call 911 and try to keep them calm from the shore. Usually, they can hold on to the edge of the ice until rescuers arrive. Don’t ask them to swim to another area because this may make them lose body heat faster. 

Know the Terrain

Boulder is full of adventurers, powder fiends, and backcountry fanatics. However, bringing your dog into the backcountry requires expert skill, humility, and knowing the terrain. It’s ill advised to place a beacon on your dog while backcountry skiing because this could prompt rescuers to dig out your pup instead of you or another human. Instead, weigh the pros and cons carefully before bringing your furry friend on steep, snowy terrain.

Wintery adventures can be so much more fun with a four-legged friend by your side. Keep them safe so they can continue to explore right alongside you with these pro tips. When uncertain about what your dog needs to meet their specific needs, it’s always advisable to consult with your vet.

HabitatApartments places residents within a stone’s throw of some epic Rocky Mountain Terrain. Our pet friendly apartments prioritize the needs of our residents and their furry friends. Contactus today to learn more.

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