By Brianne Harrison
The weather outside may be frightful, but man’s best friend still needs to go out for a walk. As you wrap up in jacket, boots, scarf, and hat, consider doing a few things to keep your pet safe and warm in wintery conditions.
Apply Vaseline to your dog’s paws in icy conditions. It’ll act as a barrier between the paws and road salt. You should also make sure to buy salt that’s pet friendly. Most major pet stores carry it this time of year. If your dog’s paws are very sensitive, you might want to consider buying some booties. I’ve heard good things about PAWZ booties, which are just thick enough to protect those paws but thin enough that your dog can still feel the ground he’s walking on!
If there’s salt on the roads or sidewalks, gently clean it off your dog’s paws with a towel after your walks. Salt can be very irritating to dogs’ paws.
Considering a coat for your dog? Keep in mind that only breeds that have thin coats (like most small breeds) really need them. If your dog starts shivering in the chilly wind, he may need a coat or sweater. Make sure you get one that’s easy to put on and take off, but that isn’t so loose it gets in your dog’s way!
If the weather’s so bad you can only get out for the absolute essentials, make sure you give your dog some indoor exercise time. Push back the furniture to give yourselves some room and play a game of fetch (as long as nothing breakable’s around!) or tug-of-war. If you need other ideas on how to keep your dog occupied, see our pet expert’s article on Cabin Fever.