We live in Rochester NY
We average over 100 inches of snow each year
We have a dog
He is an outdoorsmans best friend
He goes everywhere we go
Remember that it snows?
How can you be sure your dog is ready for winter? Picasso gets so excited to play in the snow – He literally runs around – jumps – jams his face in the snow – rolls in the snow – and everything else you can do in the snow. We still have to make sure we are protecting him .
There are 2 fun activities he does with us in the winter and in each of those places different things to watch out for.
1. Running on the roads.
Dangers – Ice and Rock Salt. Picasso tends to be OK with this – one time however he did get salt up in between his pads and was limping until I pulled it out. This is rare as he seems to handle loose stone and gravel on our runs all the time.
The same with ice – It might be really cold for our bare skin – but his paws were made for being outdoors and dogs lose body heat through those pads so they seem to do ok. One option is boots – he hates them on the road. Probably for the same reason I hate big bulky shoes – I lose ground feel. We have never had a real road issue… fingers crossed it stays that way.
2. Snowshoeing on the trails with us.
Dangers – Frozen (and not so frozen creeks) – Deep snow – Balling of snow between pads on the feet.
The best solution is boots – If your dog likes them – or you think that he/she needs them – There are plenty of options out there. We are lucky Sheila is very handy we bought the small cheap ones, and she sewed on fleece to make them taller with an extra strap to hold them on. Sometimes he manages to kick them off though – so pay attention.
Another choice is to put vaseline in between the toes and on the pads – it will keep the snow from clumping.
What else should you be prepared for?
You should bring water for your dog – It is cold out – but dehydration is very common in cold snowy environments as we do not realize how much h20 we are losing – The same goes for your pup.
Also bring treats – if you think you are burning extra calories in the snow – think about them jumping and bounding through it. Hungry dogs lose energy fast.
Bring a waterproof mat for when you take a break. You will likely have on snowpants - hat – gloves – They have none of that and sitting in the snow getting wet is no fun for anyone.
If it is your dogs first time out - Go slow go short – Make sure they like it – No one wants to have a dog quit on you with 2 miles of trail to get to the car!
Bring a coat – If you have a small dog or a dog with thin or little fur – a jacket will be helpful.
Is your dog an outdoor lover like ours? Does it climb mountains and roll in the snow? Leave me a comment – tell me what you do to protect them in the winter months if you do at all!