My dog loves snow. He’d stay outdoors for hours playing and running and burrowing his head into drifts of snow. Then he shoots up as if a face full of snow was a huge surprise.

The bad news for me is that despite buying a house with a fence this dog hates being outside without me. My options are to not get him outdoors in this weather, stand around on the porch watching him play, or taking him for a long walk. Many long walks.

Last year was my first year of having a dog in this type of weather. I did lots of research and followed instructions to make sure my dog stayed healthy in the snow and cold. He had other ideas.

Coats

The idea is that if we are uncomfortable in these cold temperatures it’s the same with our dogs. Protecting a dog’s back and belly will hold in body heat and keep us comfortable. Well, more comfortable. Somehow my dog did not get the memo. We went to the store and bought a coat. He refused to wear it. We returned it and bought another one that would be easier to get him into. Right. Each time we tried it was a race around the house, up and down stairs, at which time we were all overheated and too tired for a walk. He wore it all of two times and then he gained weight and so, he doesn’t have a coat.

We have lots of coats for sale at NEW PAWSibilities. Maybe you have one of those dogs who actually enjoy playing dress up. If so, or if you want to get started, stop in to see if there’s a coat that might be perfect for this winter. The really cool thing is that if your dog outgrows it you can bring it back and trade up.

Booties

After the coat debacle, I could not think about booties as cute as they are. I know, booties protect their paws from the cold pavement, ice, and snow. Many people use de-icing chemicals and salt on pavements and streets and booties will make it much safer while taking those city walks.

We have lots of booties in our lobby shop. There are different styles and I think I might pick up the type that are like mittens. Yes, they come in sets of four.

Salt and Antifreeze

As much as my dog loves snow he hates water. But washing his paws if he chooses to not wear booties is a must. My dog will ferret out anything that smells even remotely good. Yeah, I’m not understanding the poop smells good theory. Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste so when you walk, make sure to avoid puddles in driveways and streets.

I remember when I had babies in winter conditions I had to take extra precautions. Guess what? Frostbite and hypothermia happen to children but also to dogs. As much as Coconut wants to a four-mile hike outside all at once it’s not going to happen. Instead, we take several reasonable walks whether he likes it or not.

There are many other ways to protect your dog this winter. A quick Google search will give you many ideas as will your vet. One thing I figured out is that if my skin is so dry that I can write my name on my arm his paws likely need to be moisturized when I do my mine. He loves it and so do his paws.

Winter is a reality in Wisconsin so why not find ways to make it enjoyable for everyone? Just remember, if you’re cold, so are they. They really are our babies so let’s keep them safe and happy.