Their bodies are covered in fur, so the cold doesn’t really get to them, right?
While different pets have different tolerances for cold weather — your Siberian husky is going to enjoy playing in the snow much longer than a Chihuahua — every four-legged friend has its limits. But that doesn’t mean they should be locked up until spring. Dogs, especially, still need fresh air and exercise to keep their spirits up.
Here are a few ideas for getting your pups to exercise this winter:
- When it’s cold, but not too cold, still take your dog on nice, long walks. As long as he’s eager to roam, try to stick with him! Be sure to bundle yourself up, wrap your short-haired pup in a sweater or coat and avoid going out during the coldest part of the day.
- Get more out of the time you spend outdoors by taking your dog on a trail walk or to an agility park, or encourage him to run with a game of fetch.
- Staying in? Use pet toys and puzzle bowls to hide their treats and food — it will motivate them to burn a few calories indoors when the sun just won’t shine.
How cold is too cold?
If temperatures drop below freezing, no pet should be left outside for long periods in the cold. Even dogs that normally live outdoors need warm shelter to stay healthy.
Thanks to the faithful litter box, your kitty can stay inside until the weather warms up. But what about your pup? He’s gotta go, too! Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe outside when the temperatures drop:
- When the weather gets really bad, only let your indoor dog outside when he needs to go. And when he’s are ready to come back in, clean the ice, snow or mud from his paws.
- For short-haired dogs, consider a sweater or coat for times when they need to be outside.
- Indoor dogs don’t need as many calories in the winter since they’re moving less, but outdoor dogs might require a bit of extra food — they burn more calories to keep warm.
- Make sure outdoor dogs have shelter from the elements, and ensure their water never freezes over. When weather gets severe, invite them inside or set up a cozy spot in the garage.
- Don’t forget to schedule your dog’s wellness visits and make an extra call to the vet if your notice signs of extreme lethargy, or they stop eating or drinking.
Get rid of wet dog odors
There is no other stink like the wet dog smell that comes with going out in the snow or rain. Get rid of the stench by bathing your pup in a gently fragrant dog shampoo that will keep their coat conditioned. When it doesn’t make sense to give him another bath, try a deodorizing spray to keep him smelling clean and fresh.
Hang in there! It won’t be long before the ice melts and you can enjoy playing outside with your pets again. Until then, look for creative ways to help them burn off energy, and be sure to bundle up when you tag along!
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