I know it’s a general stereotype that Canadian’s love the snow and that it is winter here all year long. Though it is winter for most of the year, having 30 cm of snow by October 7th, is not my style. I don’t care for being cold and playing in the snow. Most are excited because they can go snowmobiling, snowboarding and skiing. Me, I lock myself up in my craft room until spring. Since the weather has turned this way rather abruptly and caught us off guard, I thought I would share some tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy throughout the colder season. My dogs are my entire world, so their safety and comfort is one of my top priorities.
Leave your dog’s fur longer in the winter to keep them warm. If you have a puppy or a short haired breed, consider an adorable winter coat or sweater.
Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
Make sure to wash and completely dry your pet’s paws after time outside, especially if they have come in contact with any kind of road or sidewalk ice melt. Leaving this chemical on their paws can cause dryness and cracking. I would suggest a pair of dog boots or rubber sock when out walking. Not all salts are animal safe and can cause a burning reaction and trip to the vet. Make sure when you are buying and spreading ice melt that it is in fact, pet safe.
In buying ice melts, it is important to look at the ingredients, veterinarians say. Some products contain blends of urea and salt, so they could still be toxic and irritating to paws. Others contain magnesium chloride, a salt which is less irritating to paws than regular rock salt.
Safe Paw™ is the only 100% salt-free ice melter on the market and it is 100% safe for pets, children, surfaces, and the environment. Safe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy for consumers to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. Safe Paw benefits include:
- Guaranteed safe for pets and children
- Environmentally safe
- Won’t harm decking of any kind
- Safe on asphalt, concrete, and pavers
- Safe on plants and shrubs
- Proprietary traction agent (helps prevent
slips and falls)
- Won’t stain or destroy flooring
Safe Paw ice melter can be found in most pet stores, I picked mine up at PetValu. Because of our long winters, I got 35lbs of it and paid $89.99. So yes, it is significantly more expensive, but is safer for your pet. And that is really what our goal is here, to stay safe during the harsh season.
Once a week I like to apply my homemade Pet Paw Balm to her paws and put on a little pair of socks overnight. It’s nourishing, moisturizing and soothing and all natural. You can purchase it in my Etsy store, or make it yourself following my recipe!
- In a small pot – or double boiler – over low heat melt the oils, shea butter, and beeswax. Stir continuously until all is melted and well blended.
- Pour the mixture into lip balm tubes and/or tins.
- Let them cool on the counter until hard.
- Cap and label.
- Keep away from extreme heat.
- Use within 1-2 years.
I also add in a little bit of Lavender Essential oils as it does add a calming effect to irritated skin and has a calming scent which is perfect to put on just before bed time.
If your pup spends most of the time outdoors, they are going to need a few extra calories to keep warm. Consider increasing the amount of food you give them, especially if they are getting lots of exercise. My little darling is spoiled, she is 9 and only 20 pounds and she loves running around in the snow. But other than going out for a little run in the yard and to do her business, she doesn’t get a lot of exercise in the winter, so I decrease her portions just a little. It is very important for them to keep hydrated, always have plenty of water available for them. If water freezing is an issue, look into a warmer like this one below.
Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.