Winter has arrived in the South Wedge and while we prepare to spend hours shoveling our driveways, we should also consider the adjustments we need to make for our dogs. As with people, the cold and snow can take a toll on our dogs if we aren’t careful. Here are some tips to keep your dog happy and stylish throughout the season.
- Dress your dog appropriately for the weather. Many dogs love the cold, but short-haired and small breeds get cold quickly. A simple sweater can keep them warmer longer, allowing you to exercise them even when it’s freezing.
- Dry them off when they come inside – not only do wet dogs stink, leaving a dog wet or damp can cause matts in their fur.
- Road salt can be damaging to a dog’s paws. Use dog booties or Musher’s Paw wax (available at the Natural Pet Food Store) to protect the pads of their feet. Salt sensibly with a paw-safe salt available at any hardware store.
- Soak paws in warm, soapy water after walking in the salt. This will loosen any dirt and salt that gets stuck on the paws.
- Houses get dry when the heat is on. Oatmeal baths are a great way to replenish oils in the dog’s skin, but only when necessary during the winter months.
- Consult your groomer about proper trimming for the hair on their paws and between toes. If the hair is too long, long periods in the snow can cause ice balls to build up that can be painful.
- Keep walks short if your dog gets cold easily. It’s better to do a few short walks a day instead of one long one.
- Teach your dog to wait when leaving the house. Have them sit, tell them wait, and walk out the door before them. Wait until you have gotten through the door to call the dog to you. Practice this frequently until the dog waits at the door each time. If they get up before being called, patiently start over.
- Carry treats on your walks to reward good behavior and discourage pulling.
- Stock up on chew bones and interactive toys to keep your pet occupied indoors on those freezing cold days.
- Organize indoor play-dates or look into doggy day camp to keep your pet socialized throughout the winter.
Kim’s Shaggy to Chic
Owner: Kim Webb
1010 South Clinton Ave
585.355.4761 | shaggytochic.net
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30-6:00, Saturdays 8:30-4:00
Services: Full service bathing, grooming, nail trimming. Special shampoos and de-shedding packages available. They will even paint your pooch’s nails by request!