Hi TransPaw Fans! As the days get crisper for our readers far and wide, we’re excited that our friends over at Doggone Good Clicker Company have offered to share their tips and recommendations for unleashing wintry adventures and harnessing some snowy fun!
Hiking and even walking your dog in the cold winter months is very different than hiking with your pup in the warmer months. If properly prepared, trekking through the frigid, snowy weather can be a wonderful time for all! So, bundle up and get ready to hit the trails and explore the outdoors with your dog.
Pick a trail that is dog friendly
Start with shorter, easier hikes and walks. Observe your pup and if all is good, gradually increase duration. Much like humans, dogs exert extra energy walking in the snow. Picture walking in the sand on a beach and remember how much harder it is to walk? Snow, especially the fresh powder type, is very similar, and therefore it takes extra energy to walk on it.
Finding the perfect spot is easy whether it’s a park, mountain trail, or even your own backyard. National parks can also be fun places to go with your dogs. Grab your family or a friend, bundle up, and get ready for a delightful experience! Here is a map of all the pet-friendly national parks in the U.S. (every state has at least one).
Bring the right supplies
- A collar or harness and leash. Always have your pup on a leash and under control when exploring outdoors.
- Water and a collapsible bowl.
- Waste bags to clean up after your dog.
- Treat pouch to store supplies in as well as some soft, easy to chew treats. This treat pouch has a built-in compartment for waste bags as well as several pockets for clicker, phone, keys, 1st aid supplies, etc.
- Dog booties will keep your pups paws warm and dry. Remember to get your dog acclimated to their new booties in advance of your outdoor adventures.
- Sweater or jacket to give your dog an extra layer of protection.
Watch for health dangers
It is important to know your dog’s limits. Short-coated, thin, small breed, young, and elderly dogs tend to get cold more quickly. Monitor your dog’s overall condition to look for signs of whining, slowing down, shivering, limping, or downright stopping because these can all be indications that something may be wrong, so be aware and check in with your pup often.
A general temperature rule of thumb is if it is too cold outside for you, it is most likely too cold for your dog.
- According to Canine Journal, most dogs can tolerate temperatures above 45°F pretty well.
- Below 45°F, dogs may start to feel uncomfortable.
- Temperatures below freezing (32°F), you should monitor your dog carefully.
- Temperatures below 20°F, all dogs are prone to cold related health conditions such as hypothermia.
Be aware of general hazards
Steer clear of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, or any body of water, which can crack with pressure on it causing you or your pup to fall into the frigid water below.
Snow can be dangerous for dogs to eat because it can lower their body temperature. Besides that, it can contain harmful chemicals that may be toxic to dogs or hidden objects that are unsafe.
Musher’s Secret is super to have with you on hikes in the cold, icy months. Rub it on those adorable paws and between their toes to keep ice from accumulating. It is can also be applied to your pups’ lower legs to keep ice from forming and sticking to their fur.
After your hike, wipe your dog’s paws to remove any chemicals that may have gotten on their paws, give them a good towel dry, make some hot chocolate (for yourself, of course), and cuddle up together!
Remember that dogs want to please their guardians and often push through pain. It’s up to you to be aware of your dog’s abilities and limitations, and to recognize unusual behaviors in your dog that may be indications of pain or fatigue. Above all be safe, stay warm, and have a paw-some time wherever your adventure leads you!
Bio: The Doggone Good! Clicker Company team has been providing quality, positive pet training products for over 25 years. Our customer service, production quality, and innovation are Doggone Good! We are consistently praised for the value of our products, which includes colorful custom training clickers, treat bags, bandanas, discs and so much more for dogs, cats, horses, birds, and just about any furry (or feathered) friend! Whether you are in the pet industry, a supporter of the pet industry, or a passionate pet owner, The Doggone Good! Clicker Company stands ready to fulfill your needs.