So, my dog parenting was recently called out by commenters on a post that my friends at Darwin Dogs shared on their Facebook page of Roscoe out in the snow.
People commented how dogs shouldn’t “live outside” in the snow and how it was mean that he was out in the cold. Although it was only a few commenters out of several, it was still so crazy to me. I know Roscoe looks a little annoyed here, but I think he was just taken off guard. It’s been so long since we’ve seen snow! (His next reaction was of course to roll around in it.) A little snow is not going to hurt your dog. I am guessing the people who commented don’t actually even have dogs.
As a dog parent of course you have to be aware of the weather conditions and sensitive to the fact that your dog shouldn’t be outside too long, but you don’t have to keep them inside all the time during the winter. My two dogs actually really love the snow. Hunter, more than Roscoe, but they both have no problem going outside and taking a walk no matter what the snow levels are.
If your dogs are like mine and you still want to get them out in the winter, here are a few tips to protect them from the cold:
Bundle Up – Depending on the type of fur your dog has, you might want to put him or her in a sweater or jacket before going out on a walk. For Hunter, I don’t worry about this too much since he has a few layers of fur, but I always put Roscoe in a sweater or jacket when we go out.
Protect their Paws – Snow, ice and salt can get caught up in your dog’s paws when you take them on a walk. If you can’t get them to wear booties (I haven’t tried these before, but just assume my dogs would hate them), you can use petroleum jelly or Musher’s Secret on your dog’s paws before you go out. Just make sure to wipe it off when you get back in so your dog doesn’t lick it up.
Don’t Use Retractable Leashes! – This tip is more for you, than your dog. It can be easy to slip on the ice, so giving your dog too much leash and having him pull you on your walk is a recipe for disaster. Use a short leash for better control of your dog.
Do you have a dog that loves the snow?