If you are a dog owner, you fully understand that your pet becomes a part of the family as soon as you bring them home. You’d never neglect your children and the same applies to your furry family members. However, when the winter rolls around, many people aren’t quite sure how to take care of their canines. This rings especially true for new pet owners. With the drop in temperature, there are a few things you will want to remember to keep your dogs happy and in tiptop shape this winter.

  1. Regular Walks

Dogs need walks on a regular basis. It helps them get exercise, keeps their heart healthy, and aids in weight management. However, during the winter months, the temperatures can become extremely frigid. If it’s really cold for you, it’s probably extremely cold for your dog as well. Consider taking a few visits to an indoor dog park to help your dog have fun and stay warm.

  1. Paws and Soles

Between the ice and snow, the roads and sidewalks easily become slippery and messy. For safety purposes, county workers throw salt on the roads and sidewalks. While this method is great for melting snow, the sand can irritate the paws of your dog. The ice-melting agents in the snow will cause irritation and the sand can also get stuck. While you can’t control the type of sand the county workers use on the roads, you can make sure that you wipe your dog’s paws as soon as you’re finished taking a walk. It may be a little difficult to get your dog to cooperate initially, but it’s worth the effort.

  1. Booties and Petroleum Jelly

Another great way to protect the soles of your dog involves booties and petroleum jelly. If your dog is okay with wearing booties, this can be a great option for protecting the soles from irritation due to the sand on the ground. If booties aren’t an option, petroleum jelly is a good alternative. It will serve as a protective barrier from the irritants and can coat the feet. Before it’s time to go for a walk, simply massage a bit of petroleum jelly into the paws.

  1. Shaving

During the winter, we all like to have extra blankets to stay warm. A dog’s hair is their extra blanket. Don’t shave it off during the wintertime. It helps them stay warm. If your pooch has long hair, feel free to trim it. Make sure to always wash it. However, you don’t want to shave it during these months. If your dog doesn’t have a lot of hair to begin with, consider purchasing a coat or sweater for them when it’s time to go on walks outside.

  1. Nutrition

The cold temperatures tend to cause many animals to lose weight. They lose weight because they’re usually burning more calories so they can stay warm. If you don’t want an emaciated pup by the springtime, it’s best to pay attention to how much they eat and add an extra scoop or two of food in their bowls. Always keep clean water available because the winter air is incredibly drying. Just like you need moisture, your pets do too.