Doggies in Booties. Photo Credit: Steve Guttman (CC)
Your vehicle isn’t the only thing that needs winterizing before you head up to snow country: your dog needs preventative maintenance, too! Some tips:
Always wash or wipe Lucy’s feet after a winter’s 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.
Don’t sniff at the notion of buying your dog a waterproof coat or vest, especially if she’s a low-to-the-ground or short-haired model. A coat will keep her warm and help prevent ice buildup on chest or belly.
Preventative paw care includes clipping nails short and trimming hair between the pads to prevent ice buildup. A product like Tuf-Foot, Musher’s Secret or even plain old Vaseline will help build resistance to abrasions and protect against ice, slush and grit. Booties serve the dual purpose of preventing ice buildup and providing traction when the going gets slick.
It’s easy to become dehydrated during winter exercise, and easy for your dog to become dehydrated, too. Carry plenty of water for the two of you, and offer it to Rosie frequently.
Give your pup some extra calories at the end of an outing. She deserves it—and you deserve a treat, too!