How To Care For Your Snow Dog

Snow is magical to humans and dogs alike, and many of us enjoy sharing the wonders of winter with our best friends. If you're planning to play in the snow with your pup, it's important to be safe, as there are hidden risks involved with the fun. Read on for some helpful tips on how to care for your "snow dog," and ensure your winter adventures are memorable — in a good way.

Protect Their Paws

Young corgi with snow on paws showing it's humans it's cold wet paws

Dog paws are super sensitive to heat and cold, so it's important to take care of them before and after snow play. Booties and paw wax are helpful in preventing frost bite, as they provide a shield to protect tender paw pads from extreme cold. 

It's also essential to dry your pup's paws when coming in from the snow. This makes sure there's no snow or ice build up between their toes and helps them return to their normal temperature more quickly.

Eliminate Snow Snacking

Husky playing in snow licking snow falling from sky

Though it may be tempting to allow your pooch free reign when they dive head first into the white stuff, letting them eat the snow isn't the best idea — no matter how delicious it may look! Snow absorbs whatever it falls on like a sponge. This includes dangerous substances that might have been on the ground before being covered up. 

Also, eating too much snow (even if it's perfectly clean) is a surefire way to lower your fur baby's core temperature, which can turn into a dire medical situation faster than you think. 

Watch Their Temperature

Dogs' temperatures can drop to dangerously low levels in a heartbeat when they're exposed to extreme cold. Because of this, it's important to watch out for overexposure when playing in the snow. If you see your pooch starting to shiver or their breathing changes from relaxed to shallow, it's time to call it a day. 

You can help prevent or slow overexposure by dressing your pup in a warm jacket or sweater, as well as protecting their paws with booties. However, even well-dressed dogs will eventually get colder than they should allowed to play in the snow too long. To avoid this, moderate the amount of time they spend outdoors in frigid temperatures.

Always Supervise Snow Play

Smiling female human embracing black puppies playing in the snow

It might be tempting to allow your pooch to run amok in the fresh powder while you enjoy the warmth of the indoors, but it's a better idea for you to join them. This way, you can watch out for any issues that might arise, such as injuries, attempts to eat snow or other dangerous activities. It also lets you note changes in their behavior might indicate it's time to come in and warm up.

Supervising your pup in the snow also ensures you don't lose sight of them. Snow is soft and can be deeper in some places than others, so it's not uncommon for dogs to be swallowed in snow banks if they're not careful!

Snow Play the Safe Way

Winter can be fun for all species, especially when play is done safely. Keeping the above in mind can help protect your pet while they enjoy the snow.

Need to stock up for your snow dog (or any other pets)? Visit us at Pets on Broadway for the best food and supplies to care for your canine friend!