Many of us are all too familiar with a bit of seasonal depression during the cold months, and many dogs unfortunately experience this as well! Dogs that are active and enjoy the outdoors can especially have a hard time in the winter as their walks shorten and their socialization time diminishes. To keep your dog happy and healthy during this time it is important to give them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation indoors!
Space in the city is obviously limited, but if you have or can arrange the space for an indoor game of fetch, your dog will be very grateful! Tug is a great indoor game for small spaces, but make sure you play properly and are exchanging the toy for treats intermittently. Doggy puzzles and working toys can be great ways for your pet to spend some mental and physical energy on their own, here are some recommended products.
Remember to alter your dog’s meals if they have eaten a lot during playtime, or alternatively, feed them their meals IN working toys.
A great winter ‘outing’ for you and your pet is at Water4Dogs, where your pup can take fun, confidence-boosting indoor swimming lessons.
The Scoop on Salt!
Sidewalk and road salt can be harmful to even the toughest of paws. The danger comes from the toxic chemicals often added to them, as well as salt’s abrasive and water-thirsty characteristics. Walking on salt can cause paws to dry and crack, and ingesting it can be harmful or even fatal. Before your dog gets a chance to lick their paws clean after their walk, wipe their feet off with a moist towel or grooming wipe, and don’t forget in between the toes! Salt stuck between toes for an extended period can lead to an infection.
You can take preventative measures to protect your pooch from harm from the salt! There is a wealth of great dog boots that come in all sizes, you can find them here on our store. To get your dog used to wearing them, put all four boots on and just have your dog follow you around while you hand them treats, some positive motivation will get them going! Another great preventative option is paw wax, which may be an easier adjustment for some dogs than boots. If your dog is having a lot of trouble or is hating their boots, contact a trainer. Also, if you are one of the city-dwellers lucky enough to have an area that needs to be salted, use a non-toxic salt that is safe for dogs! Dogs should never consume any snow that has salt or ice-melting agents in it. Many dogs enjoy eating fresh and unsalted snow, though be careful because excessive consumption can lead to vomiting.
Additionally, many dogs can greatly benefit from a coat in the cold. Dogs with short or thin hair, small dogs, and elderly dogs especially require the warmth when the temperature goes down. An ideal coat will have a snug fit and a slot for the leash if your dog wears a back-attaching harness. Pullovers and coats with sleeves or zippers can be difficult and uncomfortable for some dogs.