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10 ideas to protect my dog against the winter cold

Protecting your dog in winter is essential for your dog's good health. Not all dogs are equal when it comes to cold weather, so the tips below should be adapted to your breed.


As I have an Australian Shepherd and a Jack Russell, our tips and advice will be more suitable for these two breeds!


Protecting your dog in winter

  1. Tip #1: Choose the right winter gear and coat

  2. Tip #2: Put Vaseline or other protection on the paws

  3. Tip #3: Dry your dog when you get home from a walk

  4. Tip #4: Adapt to your dog's cold resistance

  5. Tip #5: Carry a hot water bottle or heating pad for long walks

  6. Tip #6: Carry a spare blanket or coat

  7. Tip #7: Don't bathe your dog in winter

  8. Tip #8: Trim the hair between the paws

  9. Tip #9: Clean paws after walking

  10. Tip #10: Take your dog for walks in the sun


Tip #1: Choose the right winter gear and coat

Our little Jack Russell is a big chiller, so we have a padded winter coat that we put on for her every time we go out. We chose a small coat that zips or clips at the top as the velcro coats on the belly get wet and snowy until they don't close anymore. For our Australian Shepherd, we simply put her in her Ruffwear harness. She loves the cold and dreams of it!


Tip #2: Put Vaseline or other protection on paws

In addition to the cold and snow, you have to be especially careful with salt on the roads. This can unfortunately irritate and dry out the dogs paws to the point of injury. Before each walk, we apply Vaseline on the 8 paws. Another tip would be to put on dog shoes. Unfortunately, our dogs do not accept them.


Tip #3: Dry your dog after a walk

It's important to give your dog a good wipe down with a towel or even a hair dryer so that he doesn't get wet after the walk. A wet dog can easily get cold in the winter draught, even indoors.


Tip #4: Adapt to your dog's cold resistance

Even if our dogs are ready and properly equipped, we are particularly careful to always be aware of them. There have been times when we have turned back in the middle of a climb because Rio (Jack Russell) had let us know she was too cold.


Tip #5: Carry a hot water bottle or heating pad for your long hikes

As we often go for long winter walks (+1h), whether it's a walk or a ski tour, we are very careful to have everything we need with us to keep our Jack Russell warm. One of the tricks we have is to take an empty hot bottle with us and fill it up with water/tea from our thermos if necessary. Another tip is to take heating pad for when your dog needs to warm up quickly.


Tip #6: Carry a spare blanket or coat

If the snow is a little wet, your dog can end up soaking wet after a 10-minute walk. To keep your dog from getting cold, a small blanket to dry him off or a change of clothes can easily extend your walks, especially if you plan to stop for tea or a snack along the way.


Tip #7: Avoid bathing your dog in winter

For long-haired dogs, drying is a real pain! Even after several minutes under the hair dryer, our Australian shepherd is still a little damp. In winter, it's best to avoid bathing because a wet or damp dog can get sick quickly.


Tip #8: Trim the hair between the paws

To prevent salt, snow or even small gravels from getting into the paws, cut the small hairs between the paw pads. This will make cleaning the paws easier, and your dog will not hurt his paws as easily.


Tip #9: Clean paws after walking

Rinse your dog's paws under warm water when you get home from a walk. This is a quick and easy way to remove salt, ice and small stones that may be stuck in the paws.


Tip #10: Choose sunny walks

As we hike a lot, in winter we pay special attention to the sun exposure of our routes. We avoid hikes where the path is mainly in the shade. This is because the path can quickly freeze over and it can get very cold for sensitive dogs. With our dogs, we choose routes such as the climb to La Cabane Mont Fort, or a climb toSavoleyres whose paths are almost always in the sun. In the same logic, we avoid the climb to La Cabane Brunet which is entirely in the shadow of the forest.



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