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In this AnimalWised article we will explain how to take a dog to the snow. When the temperatures drop and the flakes fall, many are the people who enjoy activities in the snow and wonder if their dog can accompany them or not. The truth is that there are also many dogs who love the snow, but it is advisable that we follow some tips to avoid scares due to a temperature that is too low and, above all, respect the dog's preferences, since not everyone has a good time in the snow.
For all of the above, if you want walk your dog through the snow and you don't know how to prepare it or what to take into account, read on and take note of all our tips.You may also be interested in: How to take care of a dog in winter? Index
- Can dogs go to the snow?
- How to protect a dog's paws in the snow?
- What does a dog need to go to the snow?
- Care when the dog comes home after a walk in the snow
- Dangers of snow for dogs
Can dogs go to the snow?
In general, the answer to this question is yes. In fact, dogs they usually enjoy it a lot. But before considering how to take a dog to the snow, we must pay attention to whether our dog wants to go or not. Some specimens seem to be frightened by that white blanket that covers everything, especially if it is the first time they see it. In these cases, you do not have to force them, but rather allow them to gradually adapt and decide how far they want to go..
On the other hand, there are great variations between races. We all know some perfectly adapted to the snow, such as the Siberian husky, but for less accustomed dogs or without the appropriate physical conditions it is a good idea to provide them with specialized equipment, not when just going for a ride on the snow, but to pass one or more days between considerable amounts of snow. We review this equipment in the following sections. In addition, it is advisable to bring water to prevent them from sucking on ice or snow, which may contain antifreeze products that are toxic to them..
How to protect a dog's paws in the snow?
Although the pads of a dog are perfectly adapted to walk on any type of terrain and in all weather conditions, it is true that when temperatures are very low and there is snow or ice, some dogs may need extra help, especially if they go to spend time away from home.
Therefore, if you have doubts about how to go with your dog to the snow or ice, have some product to protect the pads. For sale you will find several formats, such as the spray, which makes it very easy to apply, or the cream. Its ingredients include different active ingredients whose function is to provide protection to the pads, keeping them soft and improving their resistance. In addition, if your dog is older or for some reason his pads are cracked or more delicate, you can apply this type of product as a prevention, hydration and recovery. On the other hand, they also offer protection against salt or any substance that is used to melt snow..
What does a dog need to go to the snow?
As we have mentioned, it all depends on the exposure time and the dog. Those breeds of snow dogs, which are fully adapted to this type of environment, do not need to bring anything extra. However, dogs that have never been in the snow, have a tendency to get cold, or are small in size, may need help. However, we insist that if you are only going for a walk in the snow with your dog because it has snowed in your city and you do not observe symptoms of cold or discomfort, you can take it as usual..
Dog clothes in the snow
There are a lot of clothes for sale adapted to all sizes and complexions if we want to take our dog to the snow. In fact, there is so much variety that it can be difficult to choose a coat for dog. It is best to go directly to an establishment where we can test various models and someone with knowledge can guide us.
Specifically, for snow we need a garment keep it dry and warm. Ideally, it should cover you from the withers to the tail. Some of these coats have a hood, although it is not essential and not all dogs tolerate it. Other designs have the option of inserting the legs, thus keeping the abdominal area more protected against open, cape-like models. In any case, it is a good idea to get used to the dog calmly, since some do not like to wear clothes. In fact, it is not essential. On the other hand, other more cold people will be better with clothes on even if it does not even snow.
Snow shoes for dogs
Just as we can find different clothes to keep the dog warm in the snow, there are also specific footwear for this situation, offering greater protection than the protective cream for pads by completely covering the feet. We speak, above all, of the dog boots. Of course not all dogs are comfortable with them and may want to take them off or refuse to walk. Therefore, before using them, you have to get used to them little by little..
The advantage of snow dog boots is that they cover more surface area than the pads, providing protection for the paws as well. This type of boots are designed for big snowfalls or for dogs that spend a lot of time in the snow. A walk on a thin layer of snow does not require as much protection, in principle.
Normally, these types of boots have several layers that give them resistance to cold and water, while allowing perspiration. In addition, the sole is special and is designed to allow a good grip both on snow and on ice. They have a closure that adjusts them to the leg and prevents snow from entering.
You already know how to take your dog to the snow, this would be a basic kit, but you can add other accessories such as sunglasses, if it tolerates them, or a sunscreen. Now, there are many people who wonder if dog socks are suitable for snow and the answer is no because their materials do not insulate the legs from the cold or promote a good grip. Likewise, with direct and constant contact, they get wet.
Care when the dog comes home after a walk in the snow
After the precautions to go with your dog to the snow, it is advisable to continue with the care when you get home. The first thing is remove all clothing or footwear Wear it and dry the areas that need it or the whole dog if it has gone out without any protection, even if it is only wet. We can use towels and a hairdryer. Wanted let it dry completely to avoid the problems that keeping skin moist can cause and to help you warm up faster.
Once dry, you can rest in your bed in the warmth of home. If he is not very suffocated, we can offer him water and, if the effort has been considerable, it is possible to give him his ration of food already. If we have not done it before, if we notice the cracked pads or the dry truffle, we can apply a product to help their regeneration. Vaseline is worth it if we do not have specific cream on hand.
Dangers of snow for dogs
In general, a dog that lives in a home can go out for a walk in the snow without any problem. But if the exposure to the cold is prolonged or it is a dog that lives outdoors without possible shelter, problems could arise due to a drop in the dog's normal body temperature. In addition, if the mantle gets wet with snow, it will lose its insulation capacity, complicating the situation. Younger and older dogs, small in stature, short hair or any health problem are the ones that will be at the highest risk of suffering this hypothermia. The cold also consumes energy and the consequence is a decreased blood glucose. Thus, the serious pictures of hypothermia include the following signs:
- Weak pulse.
- Body temperature below 35 ºC.
- In the most serious cases, coma.
Of course, this situation is an emergency and the dog, wrapped in a blanket or any other warm garment, has to be transferred to a veterinary center, ideally in a vehicle with the heating on. Another risk situation is freezing, that will appear in the most exposed areas of the body, such as the tail, ears, pads or scrotum of males. Frozen skin turns white or bluish, turning red, while swelling and peeling. If time passes, it takes on a blackish hue that indicates that the fabric is dead and will eventually come off. It is also a veterinary emergency.