Health & Wellbeing
5 Winter Tips for Dogs
Pet lifestyle expert Serena Faber-Nelson is the founder of Pretty Fluffy. A contributor to Everyday with Rachael Ray, Modern Dog Magazine, Cesars Way and more; her modern, stylized take on DIY dog treats has seen her recipes viewed millions of times over.
Serena is the author of the go-to dog mom bible, Dog Mama, and the popular dog treat recipe book, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.
Winter can be so magical with the gorgeous white rooftops, snowmen and sugar coated tree branches – but like Rumple on Once Upon Time always says, “All magic comes with a price!“.
Though beautiful, winter can also have some not-so-beautiful effects on our dogs: from dry skin and irritated paws to cabin fever. With frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall, February and March can be the toughest months of the season – which can make it easy to catch the winter blues.
Here are our 5 winter tips to help keep your dog healthy and happy this season!
1. Embrace Outdoor apparel
Sweaters and coats and shoes, oh my!
Canine apparel isn’t just for looks (though it can be entertaining at times)! It tends to be quite necessary and practical during the winter months. Last week it was -15˚F outside, and boy was miss Coco Bean thankful for her layered sweater and scarf. Extra padding and added warmth will make their bathroom breaks much more tolerable.
Shoes are also a wonderful protective barrier from all of the ice and salt on the roads and sidewalks, which can cut, burn and sting our dog’s paw pads – Even the most rugged dogs can run into issues with salt.
2. Minimize Bath time
I’m not saying omit all grooming BUT if possible, minimize baths during the colder months. This can help your dog maintain their natural skin/scalp oils, which helps to keep them from drying out. Also, bath time can make your dog feel colder than usual in the winter, which can be terribly uncomfortable for them. Brrr!
3. Add Healthy Oils
Adding healthy oils such as unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil and flax oil to your dogs meals can help prevent dry skin, while also adding healthy fats. Adding these oils directly onto the skin (or paws) can also help dry patches and hot spots.
4. Create Indoor Activities
For those dogs who are not fans of the cold/snowy outdoors (and long for their warm sunny walks), it is easy to catch cabin fever being cooped up day after day.
Creating indoor activities can help to prevent this. Playing with interactive toys or any toys for that matter, can help stimulate the brain. If you have an indoor dog park or agility park nearby, an hour a day could be a great exercise outlet for them.
5. Provide More Blankets
This one is a no brainer – everyone loves more blankets during winter, and your dog is no exception. After potty breaks outside, Coco loves nothing more than to dive on top of her big fluffy blanket. If you have blankets that are dedicated to your dog(s) it may also prevent them from making their snowy-selves comfortable in your basket of laundry!