The word cold can have many different meanings depending on where you live in the US. I think we all know what bitter cold weather is and how it can cause cute little paws to get frost bite faster than you think! So how do you prepare your pup for outdoor fun? I think the key question here is, how long do you think you will spend outside with your dog?
Some breeds are built for the cold and look forward to that 12-inch snow storm, while others shiver at the draft that is coming through your window! So I think it’s important to know your dog and breed if possible. Then we can move on to what gear you may need.
If you’re taking your pup out for a quick potty and short walk then you are probably good with a sweater or a coat or both depending the temps. One thing for sure that is good all year round is a great paw wax, like Musher’s Secret. This wax is like chapstick for your dogs paws.
When weather turns cold and dry, their pads get dry and cracked, pair that with your neighbor’s not so pet friendly salt on the driveway or roads, it can really cause some major cracking of the paws. You will definitely, no matter if you put a coat on your dog or not, will want to protect their paws. The pads on the paws are the most sensitive with cold weather. If you were only going to do one thing, I would say protect the paws!
The cold, wet snow and salt can cause the paws to dry, crack and sometimes bleed. Paw wax and booties would be best for walks. If it’s a short out for potty then a quick swipe of paw wax before heading out goes a long way each day for keeping paw pads healthy during the winter months. Now if your dog is a breed that thrives in the cold weather then a coat, paw wax and boots for longer outdoor fun can help keep them protected. For breeds that thrive in warmer weather, then layer them up and only do short quick outings and always protect the paws!