6 Ways to Protect Your Pup In The Snow

There might not be any sight more joyful than watching a pup experience his first snowfall, or even his fiftieth.

Dogs love playing in the white stuff but they don’t always realize the ways it can be bad for their health. Keeping them safe this winter is a task that falls on you, and here are a few tips for keeping your pup safe in the snow.

Wrap Them Up

Some people find doggie sweaters adorable, while others might see them as a little silly. No matter which side of the line you fall on, it’s hard to argue against the benefit they provide to your favorite furry friend. Sweaters are a great way to keep dogs warm in the snow and keep it off their skin. This is especially helpful if your pup has a short coat and needs a little extra insulation.

Cover Those Paws

Believe it or not, there are actually boots designed specifically for dogs. Some are made for hiking, while others are specifically meant to help keep their paws dry in the rain and snow. Slipping a pair of these on your dog’s paws is a great way to ward off frostbite while also making him look pretty cute in the process.

©istockphoto/Pilat666

©istockphoto/Pilat666

Avoid Salts

While road salts and other deicers are great for keeping you off your butt and your car on the road, they also contain chemicals that could be harmful to your pet if ingested. The dangers of salt on dogs and other pets is no joke, with effects including vomiting, excessive thirst, kidney damage, seizures or even comas and death. Avoid walking your dog in salt, and if he does come into contact with it, immediately wipe his paws clean and keep him from trying to lick it off. Some vets recommend rubbing petroleum jelly on your dog’s paws before walking in the snow, but you should check with yours before trying it.

Grow That Coat

If your dog is a hairy beast who usually requires a good shave to keep him looking spiffy throughout the year, make sure you’re not shaving too much off in the winter. That fur is your dog’s primary means of protection against the frost. Your groomer should be able to style your pup to keep him healthy and handsome, so leave this one up to the professional if you’re unsure of the proper length.

©istockphoto/Cristie Guevara

©istockphoto/Cristie Guevara

Keep Them Dry

After a quick bath during the summertime, you probably wouldn’t think twice about letting your dog outside to dry off. Of course, that’s a bad idea during the winter. Protect your pup by drying him thoroughly before heading outdoors in the cold by wiping him down with a towel but also giving him plenty of time to air dry in the house before opening that door. Some people enjoy using blow dryers, which is great if your dog enjoys it too, but blow drying a dog’s skin too much can actually overdry it, so don’t get too close.

Insulate The Dog House

If you’re the proud owner of a dog who spends must of her time outside, make sure whatever shelter she has outside is warm and insulated. Put extra padding in the doghouse or even buy one that comes equipped with a heater, if you’re feeling fancy. Whatever you do, don’t leave your pup out in the snow without any shelter at all. Not only is that cruel, but it’s also illegal.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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