I don’t know about you, but this time of year it should be snow in Sweden, instead it looks something like this… okej, it’s a bit more snow.. but still now a proper winter.
But never mind, if you DO have snow, there are some things to consider if you’r a dogowner. In this post, we have some wise tips and advice to you for the winter.
I love this photo of Harry, you can really see how much he loves the snow.
Clothes after weather
Dress both yourself and your dog after the weather. A dog with a smaller coat may need a lined quilt when it’s freezing. Just as for humans, it can also be nice for the dog to have a rain-covered quilt, regardless of the amount of fur.
Make sure that both you and your dog have good reflections on you. There are both duvets and larger necklaces and leashes with reflex for dogs. It may also be good to have a flashing lamp on the dog, to easily keep track of the dog if you have it of leash. Then other people can more easily see your dog.
Don’t leave your dog in a cold car
The car quickly gets cold when it’s switched off. If your dog is sitting still for a long time in the car, it can quickly become very cold.
Look out for glycol from leaking cars
Washer fluid and coolant used for cars often contain glycol, also called ethylene glycol. Glycol tastes sweet and is something our pets likes to lick. Even a small amount can cause serious poisoning and death.
Watch out for the road salt, rinse and dry the paws
When the snow falls, the roads are salted. The salt dries out the skin and it can begin to burn in the paws. Therefore, be careful to rinse or dry the paws after your walks. Don’t forget to dry properly between the pads, and use a pawbalm to help heal the paws.
Snow and slip
If there is snow outside, dogs can easily get snow clumps between their toes. If your dog gets snow clumps in the coat, on legs and paws, they can easily be removed by rinsing with lukewarm water. Don’t forget to dry your dog thoroughly afterwards.
Keep track of the surface before you let your dog of leash. Even dogs can slip and hurt themselves on icy surfaces. Make sure the dog is warmed up before you let it of leash. If you have a dog that is extra brittle – for example, a dog with osteoarthritis – then it’s best to keep it on leash as much as possible.
In the winter, some dogs may suffer from cold cramps on the walks. The dog then often refuses to walk while lifting one or more paws in the air. If a dog gets cramp in several paws at the same time, it can even fall over.
Warm your dog’s paws in your hands and massage gently. If your dog is small, you can lift it up and carry it a bit, maybe put it’s paws under your jacket. If you have a dog that often suffers from cold cramps, it may be good to settle for short walks these days and instead activate your dog indoors.
Have fun together, indoors and outdoors
There is, of course, a lot of fun things to do with your dog during the winter. Many dogs enjoy playing in the snow. Embark on a lovely winter walk with your dog. Unfortunately, there are many dogs that are being under-stimulated during winter when we generally stay more indoors due to the cold. Think extra about stimulating your dog outdoors if you know that you should stay indoors for a longer period during the day. It can also be good to activate the dog extra before having guests or hanging out with more people than usual.
If it is really cold outside, it may be good to find some form of indoor activation. Activities like hiding candy or dry food at home for your dog to find, teach it to find a specific toy (or why not the car keys?), or serve the food in an activation toy for the dog to use up it’s energy.
Tip: If you know that your dog moves much less during the winter, it may be good to think about if you may need to reduce the amount of food and candy during this time.
Now, go out there and enjoy your winter together.