Curious to know if winter is harmful for your dog? Worried that your dog started limping after going out during a cold day? Thinking about whether dogs should wear boots in winter? Wondering how do you know when your dog might need some extra protection in cold weather? Well, let’s find out.
If you have pet parents friends, you might know that they often discuss about whether dogs should have winter walking shoes or not during cold days. Since, are they really useful? To put it briefly, it depends of your dog’s cold resistance, how long are you staying outside and of course, their breed! Unfortunately, when we talk about dog winter boots, many people believe it to be more out of luxury rather than a must-have accessory. Believe or not, since snow, ice and salt do cause pain on dogs, having a dog shoe for cold-weathers may actually help them like winter better while being safe.
How to know when my dog is feeling cold?
Certainly, not all dogs need to be protected during cold weather. We all know those fluffy, big haired dogs made to survive during the coldest of winters. Indeed, some dogs do not need any winter clothes or boots since they already have a thick furry coat, like Huskies, Akitas, German Shepherds and St Bernards. However, not every breed is fit for winter! Shorthaired dogs, thinner-framed dogs and smaller breeds may need some assistance since they may get colder more easily. Such as Staffies, Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs and Greyhounds.
However, usually dogs that have a tough time outside during cold-weather will quickly let you know. He/she will be reluctant to go outside or be shivering non-stop, showing that they might indeed need some extra fur!
Yet, some dogs might enjoy so much going outside with you nonetheless, that they won’t say a thing until its too late… It actually happened to me with Jaeger, our staffie. Our first winter together taught me not to relay on commons believes about dogs like, “dogs won’t feel a thing since that’s what their fur is for”. Since we loved going out together, cold days weren’t an issue for us. However, it wasn’t until he started to limp and screech from time to time that I realized that he actually needed my help in protecting him against winter! Unfortunately, before him, I’d always had dogs very resistant to winter like Bernese Mountain dogs. So I didn’t even know at that time that some dogs need protection against snow and ice.
Thus, if you notice that your dog is shivering, trembling and looking to cuddle into warm spaces: it certainly means that they are feeling cold!
Does my dog really need boots during winter?
Surely, dogs do have tough pads. However, in some occasions, places and temperatures, they might need some help from us. With winter coming, we, pet parents, have to keep an eye on our lovely four-legged companions and keep them safe from cold days. So if you are still wondering if dogs should wear boots in winter, keep on reading!
Snow and ice protection
Another important factor is how long are you staying outside with your dog during winter. Just like us, if you are just going out for a couple of minutes, dogs won’t be needing an extra cloth. However, if you are planning to stay more than 30 minutes outside, they’ll indeed need to gear up. If you know that they’ll mostly be inactive rather than running around, covering them up is a good idea.
Moreover, when temperatures are below 32 degrees F, young, old, sick, thinner furred and smaller dogs should not stay outside for long periods of time. If the temperature happens to drop below 20 degrees F, your dog’s likelihood of frostbite and hypothermia increases significantly.
Protecting your dog’s paw from winter chemicals
What’s even more dangerous than snow is when the roads are covered with salt and ice melters since both are toxic for your dog! The thing is that a chemical reaction occurs when ice or water reacts with salt. So, once your dog’s wet paws walk over some salt, these chemical reaction happens, and it burns them. You’ll then perceive that your dog might start limping and screeching since it hurts and it’s very unpleasant. Specially if we fail to notice and we keep on going out with them once their paw are already irritated. Thus, once you arrive home, it’s important to clean your dog’s paw. For this you can use a wet warm towel and carefully dry them afterwards to avoid any further complications.
Dog’s symptoms when their paw is sore
Dogs are pretty tough and so are their feet. However, when confronted to snow and salt, it might just be a good idea to keep an eye on their paws. These tend to suffer a lot during winter, and without precaution, your dog’s paws may be in danger. Hence, you must regularly check your dog’s paws after a ride to look for signs of injury. Firstly, delicately check their paws’ sensitivity by pressing on their pads. Moreover, if you happen to notice recoil, or any of the signs below, we strongly recommend a pair of boots for your dog:
- Cracks and cuts
Winter is coming and the weather outside is frigid. As you now know, it is important to keep your pets safe and healthy during this time. Since they would rather enjoy a perfect white winter with you. Cold weather does not just affect people, but it also affects dogs just as much. It can be dangerous for them, especially if they do not have the proper attire! So it is important to keep in mind that even if it might seem harmless, one of the most dangerous parts of winter are rock salts mixed in the snow. Together, they cause a chemical reaction that burns your dog’s paw. Thus, if you do go outside, make sure that you are wearing winter boots, such as our Pawkay™. Winter boots will keep your dogs paws protected, warm and dry. They will also help your dog stay safe and prevent him from slipping on snow and ice! So next time you wonder “should dogs wear boots in winter” during your daily rides, think of what may happen to your four-legged companion if they don’t!