I hope you and all your pups are staying warm during the insanely cold temperatures we’ve been having! Also, I feel its important to send you all a few dos and don’ts to keep your dogs safe through the impending snowpocalypse.
- Do feed more calories and consider a skin supplement like coconut oil. Going in and outside during these harsh temperatures certainly drys out my skin, and it absolutely dries out our dogs’ skin too. Although it usually goes without saying, remember to always have plenty of fresh water out. If you dog is crated during the day, please be sure to have water available in their crates. Dogs tend to drink less when its cold outside, so add a little warm water to breakfast and dinner to ensure your pup is well hydrated.
- Don’t walk off leash in a new or unknown area through areas with heavy snow. Bust out the long line, get your cow bell on and keep your pups close. Dogs can lose your scent in winter snows and may become lost. Better still, hold off till things warm up!
- Do inspect your dog after every walk. Towel off their paws, legs and bellies. Inspect their pads for abrasions or any snow balls. Consider getting some paw wax or maybe just make your own and apply it liberally before and after walks.
- Do accompany your dog outside on potty breaks. If you’re outside with your pup, you’ll want to get back in as much as your dog will which will naturally prevent your pup getting too cold. Plus, you will be
sure your dog actually relieved himself. Its not uncommon for potty training problems to crop up during extreme temperatures, so be patient and attentive to your dogs.
- Don’t make short haired dogs (pit bulls, vizslas, dobermans…) go outside without a coat. We would rather not go outside with only a long sleeved shirt, please don’t ask the naked dogs and puppies to! If your dog is going outside for 7 min or more, please put their clothes on!
- Don’t leave pups in your car for long timeframes during single digit weather. Any more than 15 minutes is too long! We need to move in order to stay warm and a pup confined to a car cannot do jumping jacks to warm up. Bundle them up, cover with a blanket, blast the car heat, run your errand, but be sure to return in under 15 min. Better yet, give your pup a smooch and a chewy, and leave them in the warm comfort of their crate at home.
- Do meditate on patience! Especially if you are working through a potty training program. I truly understand your pain. My puppy Omar seems to forget he has to go potty the second he feels the frigid wind. If you need a pep talk, please email or text I’ll be more than happy to help trouble shoot or give a pep talk! Remember, puppies and seniors cannot maintain body temperature the same way an adult dog can. Please don’t ask them to be outside for more than 7 minutes. Much longer and their little toes will go numb!
- Don’t bathe or shave your dog right now. Even if they really need it, just hold of for a warmer day. During these winter months, breeds like German Shepherds, Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards need more grooming than other times of year due to the dry air and static electricity. Consider a waterless shampoo vs a full on bath. If you do have to bathe your best friend, be sure to use a shampoo with fatty acids and a cream rinse.
- Do lots of mental training games! When its cold outside its hard to exercise our dogs, but we can simulate their minds. Get your clicker out and play some new games. Maybe 101 Things to Do with a Box, or maybe Play the Cup Game! Switch it up and make it fun!
- Lastly, if you haven’t already, stock up on water, candles, batteries, and some extra dog food just in case. With Boise being in a State of Emergency, we may be hunkered for quite a while. Please be safe out there!