Preparing Your Dog For Harsh Winter Weather

Preparing Your Dog For Winter WeatherHere in Chicago, it gets cold towards the end of October and it doesn’t let up until late March! With such a long cold snap, it is important that you know how to prepare your dog for the freezing winter weather. Even if you don’t live somewhere like Chicago, it is important to know how to protect your pup from the detriments of Old Man Winter.

Today we are going to look at what you can do to help your pup to stay more comfortable in the colder months.

Tips For Protecting Your Dog During Winter Weather!

Walking in Winter Weather

During the more mild winter weather, you still need to walk your dog. In order to keep them safe and healthy while walking in such cold weather, however, you will want to take some precautions.

– Put winter boots or paw pad protectant on your dog’s paws to protect them from extreme temperatures.

– If you use paw pad protectant, thoroughly wash and dry your dog’s feet when you get home to remove any sidewalk salt.

– Invest in a thick, windproof jacket for your dog with short hair.

– Invest in a thinner jacket or vest for your larger or longer haired dog.

– Keep an eye on the health of your dog’s paw pads! Even just chilly weather can cause drying and cracking that needs attention.

– Keep an eye out for antifreeze that has leaked from cars and don’t let your dog drink it!

– Stay away from slick icy patches! Just like you, your dog can slip and fall.


Traveling in Winter Weather

During winter you may make a road trip or two and even bring your dog along. Just because you aren’t outdoors with your dog, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take winter weather precautions.

– You should always secure your dog in a crate or harness when traveling. This is especially true in winter when road conditions are particularly dangerous.

– Make sure that you have blankets in the car in case your heating stops working.

– Replenish your first aid kit before traveling and include items for your dog’s health too.

– Take an emergency supply bag with you that contains emergency items for you and your dog.  You should include food, emergency water supplies, foil blankets, clothing for you and your dog, and emergency auto supplies like flares, jumper cables, etc.

– When you stop for potty breaks, make sure that your dog is wrapped up warm and that you stop somewhere safe for them to walk.


Facing a Winter Weather Emergency

When the winter weather hits, there is always a chance that you could get caught in a winter weather emergency. Here in Chicago, we experience emergency situations quite frequently. These include extreme temperature drops as well as being snowed in! If you are a dog owner, it is important that you prepare to face these emergencies with your dog.

– Make sure you have an adequate supply of any medications your dog needs before emergencies hit.

– Make sure you have enough of your dog’s food to last out any winter weather emergency.

– Keep potty pads or potty patches on hand so that your dog has somewhere to go to the bathroom if you are snowed in.

– Get a generator if you can afford one, or stock up on plenty of thick warm blankets and warm clothing to keep you and your dog warm.

– Stock up on candles and batteries so that you can light your home. Many dogs become afraid in the dark when power cuts hit.

– Have a crate on hand that is large enough to accommodate your dog. If you need to evacuate to another location, they may require that your dog is crated.

– Know where local emergency shelters are that accept pets and have an emergency bag ready to go.

– Get out of town. If it’s possible to get out of town and make it to somewhere safe before extreme weather hits. This is always the best choice. You never know how long emergency weather situations will last.


Always Be Safe

When it comes to winter weather planning it is always best to be overly safe than sorry. Plan ahead and get your ducks in a row so that when extreme winter weather hits, you and your dog are prepared.

One thought on “Preparing Your Dog For Harsh Winter Weather”

  • During the winter months many indoor animals experience much lower levels of activity than normal. While they are hibernating and sleeping away the winter, make sure not to overfeed your pet and cause weight gain. 

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