Oh, the weather outside is…weather. Sadly, I don’t have the Weather Channel, so I’m not sure how cold it really is outside, but I can feel it. My paws hit that frosty grass in the morning and I just know dreaded winter is coming. It’s the time of year where puppies like me are stuck in the house because our tails might freeze off out there. Although it’s chilly, it’s still important to get in your physical activity even in the winter, so I like to get walks in when I can. Here are a couple of tips for your wintry adventures outside:
Whoa Nelly – Don’t stay outside too long and make those pee breaks quick! Prevent frostbite on your ears, tail and feet by limiting your exposure. Also, take it easy! Your heart is working extra hard to keep you body warm, so don’t be running up a storm. Just like people, a run in the cold is a lot more strenuous than a run when it’s warm.
Gear Up – Dog boots are not silly! Believe me; you will thank me when you feel the warmth of fleece around your toes. Boots will not only keep you tootsies warm, but they will protect you feet from ice and salt. Also, consider a sweater or coat, especially if you have short hair. Your body needs to keep in all of the heat it can and sometimes your natural coat just won’t cut it.
Keep Shinin’ – Winter can be harsh on my sensitive skin! The chilly air can make my skin and coat so dry and brittle. Not only does it look bad, but it also reduces my coat’s effectiveness at protecting against the elements. Obviously, drink lots of water (snow doesn’t count) to stay hydrated, but also limit your baths and brush regularly to distribute your natural oils. If you get a little stinky, try some pet wipes or pet mist to keep smelling fresh.
20° or Below, Please Don’t Go – As a rule of thumb, I stay inside if it’s under 20° F. If you are elderly, under 6 months old, sick or injured, you should skip your daily walk routine in any cold weather.
It OK to be inside if it’s too cold! Make it fun! Play games indoors, learn a new trick, or play with your toys. I heard some dogs even walk on treadmills! Whatever you do, stay safe and warm my pooch friends!