With cold days and even colder nights, wool scarves, knitted blankets, homemade soups, and hot cocoa are just a few of the essentials that get us all through the gray snows and skies of January. With this being said, our pets need comfort and protection from the winter weather too! Check out our favorite winter weather safety tips below to avoid chapped paws and dry skin all season long:
- Keep the winter coat! This may go without saying, but a longer and thicker coat provides your pup with better protection from the cold so avoid any shaves or summer cuts from the groomer this winter. If your dog has naturally longer hair, consider giving them a light trim so that snowballs, salt, and other byproducts don’t get stuck in their fur. If your dog has naturally shorter hair, we recommend buying them a sweater or coat with a high neckline and full abdomen coverage to protect them from the cold weather.
- Protect those paws! With all of the snow-melting chemicals that cover the ground during the winter, your pet needs some sort of protection for those paws! Two great options are either petroleum jelly that you can rub between their toes or using booties for more full-coverage protection. Even with these precautions, it is still important to wipe off your dog’s paws, legs, and abdomen after a walk or restroom break outside to ensure that there is no snow, ice, or winter byproduct build-up. Pay special attention to the area in-between your dog’s toes as snowballs tend to build up there!
- Bathe less! We’re sure your pup is going to thank us for this one, but it is true that washing a dog too much during the winter can disrupt their body’s natural oils and cause dry, flaky skin. Therefore, only bathe your pup when it is absolutely necessary during colder months and make sure that they are completely dry before you let them outside after a bath. If your dog does require regular, frequent bathing, ask your vet about a moisturizing shampoo or similar product that you can use.
- Colder weather = more calories! Just like us, pets expend more energy by trying to stay warm in the colder weather so make sure that you are feeding them accordingly. You might consider consulting a veterinarian about a more calorie-dense diet for your pet during the winter. Also, make sure that your pet is drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and keep their skin moisturized.
- A cozy night’s sleep! Make sure your pet has a comfortable place to sleep at night that is away from the floor or any other drafty areas where the wind can blow through. A great option is a cozy, elevated bed with a blanket or pillow.