How to prepare your dog for snow adventures

Don’t forget to winterize your pup

Warm paws and prevent ice buildup between toes with booties.
Warm paws and prevent ice buildup between toes with booties.
Winterization is not just about packing some de-icer, a scraper and filling up with below-zero windshield-wiper fluid before heading into the mountains in winter. If you’ll be accompanied by a four-legged companion, you’ll want to winterize her, too.

That means always being sure to wipe or wash off your pup’s feet after a winter outing. She’ll otherwise try licking them clean, a natural behavior that could cause her to ingest toxic de-icers used on roads and parking lots. (Tip: Coating paws with a product like Tuf-Foot, Mushers Secret or plain old Vaseline will help protect against abrasion and reduce the icy-foot syndrome).

Don’t sniff at the notion of buying your dog a waterproof coat or vest. Besides keeping her warm, it will help prevent frosting on chest and belly. Booties are also a good idea, both for warmth and for preventing ice buildup between the toes.

If you’ll be snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or just hiking with poles, you might also want to invest in a hands-free leashing solution such as a skijoring harness that fits around your hips and connects to your dog via a bungie cord. This will allow you to keep your hands on the poles and your dog under control! Various kinds of waist leashes also can be found online.

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Posted on: January 18, 2022

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