We love doggies, all doggies, and doggies come from all around the world from all types of climates. Which means sometimes doggies find themselves in a place they’re not dressed for, or dressed at all.
Certain breeds are much more suited to cold weather like Huskies, their thick fur and fat provides a natural protection. Contrarily, the Chihuahua has hair much like fuzz and skinny limbs which are much more beneficial in warmer climates.
Dogs don’t have to worry about the weather as much when they’re living inside a house with humans. Which is why we have so many breeds spread across the world. Going outside in inclement weather is when adjustments have to be made. Sometimes it’s just a pair of shoes or a coat, other times it’s a full set of hat, boots and a jacket.
We’ve gathered a few tips to help owners with doggies who are used to the warmer climates.
Before the Walk
1. If it feels uncomfortable, it probably is.
Before you start your walk, if it’s the winter, you’ve probably checked the temperature already. Once you step outside and get that first whoosh of air, ask yourself how it feels on your skin. If it feels a little cold or nippy, your dog likely finds it that way too. They’re naked, remember.
2. Ask them.
You don’t have to actually ask them but take them outside for a minute or two, if they seem uncomfortable or are shivering or trying to go back inside, it’s too cold. Unless you’re Eddie Murphy, body language is doggie language.
3. The hard numbers.
If you have a dog typically unsuited to colder climates, once it goes below 32° Fahrenheit or 0° Celsius, get a jacket and maybe some shoes. If it’s too cold for water to be water, it’s too cold for your doggie.
During the Walk
This is like a giant step 2 from before the walk. Pay attention to your dog during the walk. If you see them shivering or pulling you towards home, they’re probably cold and it might be time to call it a day.
4. Look out for ice!
The farther ahead you look, the longer you have to prevent you or your doggie slipping on ice during a walk. It’s not only slippery, its cold too. It’s easy to get caught up in doggie walks, hopefully you both enjoy them.
5. Look out for ice melters!
These can be more dangerous than ice, salt (sometimes listed as sodium chloride) can dry out and cause damage to your dogs paws and possibly lead to infection. Other ice melters can contain harmful chemicals such as calcium chloride. There are safe melters available though, designed to be friendly to your pups paws.
6. Watch out for deep snow!
If you”re walking a shorter dog, pay attention to the ground. Snow often appears flat, masking the difficult terrain below. Try to keep your doggies height in mind, they’re probably a lot shorter than you and would disappear in the snow a lot easier too.
7. Enjoy the snow!
This stuff isn’t around all year, so take advantage of it. Doggies love jumping around in it, it’s like shallow water, literally. Take a lightweight bright colored ball and play some fetch in the snow, it’s extra adorable seeing them split the snow crazily running around searching for the ball.
After the Walk
8. Where do they go now?
If your dog upon entering the house immediately cuddles up next to a radiator and doesn’t move for the next few hours, they might be cold. Some dogs just love radiators, maybe all dogs, but if they make a beeline for it and press their whole body (including their feet) up against it, chances are they’re cold.
Remember these tips and you should have a great winter walking with your dog.