6 Winter Care Tips Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Miss

Cold weather brings out some of the coolest outdoor activities of the season (no pun intended). From playing in the snow to eating it as it falls from the sky to warming up by the fire with you in a dog winter blanket — there’s no doubt that dogs LOVE this time of year.

But don’t be fooled by their fur, though. Humans may have their parkas and windbreakers, but dogs need help staying warm and healthy in the winter too! Make sure they’re suited up for the snow and keep these tips in your bag of tricks when it comes to helping you and your dog have the best winter yet! 

Tip #1: Invest in a Warm Dog Coat

If you’re on the fence about whether or not your dog needs a coat, it might be useful to consider your dog’s attitude toward cold weather. According to PetMD, “A sweater or dog jacket can be helpful during the cold seasons, especially if your dog is reluctant to go outside in the snow to relieve himself.”

You might see horses wear quilted water-resistant coats (aka horse blankets) to stay warm outside in winter. The same goes for dogs. Some deluxe dog coats come in reversible styles with varying degrees of fabric thickness. This way your dog can wear the warmer side in very frosty conditions or the more breathable, lighter side when it’s just a little chilly out but still need to keep your dog warm.

dog coat for hiking with your dog

Tip #2: Time Your Walks Accordingly

Not only do we lose daylight in the winter seasons, but we also lose the warmth of the sun! Keeping your winter walks brief, and restricted to mid-morning and early-afternoon hours when the temperatures are the warmest and the sun is the strongest, will help keep you and your dog on a regimented yet warm walking routine.

Don’t forget to pack your dog’s backpack with a few necessities! Consider packing a portable water and food bowl. Our dog’s bodies work harder in the cold weather and need to stay hydrated and use more energy to keep warm. Packing some extra treats can go a long way!

shop dog backpacks for walking and hiking in the snow
Featured Above: The Outward Hound DayPak with @echo_letsgo

Tip #3 Protect Those Paws!

Tip #3 on our list of winter care tips for dogs is one of the most important. To help protect your dog’s paws this winter, make sure their foot fuzz is trimmed and cleaned regularly to keep ice balls from forming between their pads and toes.

And let’s be honest… no one likes ice balls.

dog paw protection, dog split nail

For detailed information on how to protect your dog’s paws this winter, read Dog Paw Protection for Every Season

Tip #4 Keep Dogs Away from Antifreeze

Antifreeze can often leak from cars and dogs may want to lick it because of its sweet taste, but even a small dose can be fatal to your dog. Avoid antifreeze accidents altogether by walking away from parked cars on the street and making sure your floors are clean and dry.

Tip​​​​ #5 Seek out Snow-Frie​​​​ndly Dog Toys

Twigs and sticks, especially during the wintertime can present a lot of problems for your dog, including blisters. Opt for a fetch toy or ball that you can easily spot in the snow and can stand up to wet weather. Our Orka toys are popular in winter because they’re bright colors make them easy to spot in snow or at night.

Tip #6 Watch Out for Ice

There’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to ice safety. Help keep your dog, and your neighbors dog safe by being prepared and informed on what to do if you witness a dog fall through the ice. Keep your pooch on a leash at all times so they don’t go wandering into dangerous territory. 

Step 1: Call 911

Witnessing a dog, pet or person fall through ice is an emergency that you should not try to handle by yourself and requires the assistance of our emergency response and rescue teams. If you see something, say something!

Step 2: Stay Off the Ice

“We know people are going to want to go after them,” Poudre Fire Authority Captain Matt Housley said. “But if the ice breaks once, chances are it will break again and you don’t want to end up in the water, too.”

“If the ice isn’t strong enough to hold a dog, it’s not going to be strong enough to hold a person,” added Poudre Fire Authority Capt. Jon McKeon in response to a fatal ice accident involving a dog last year.

Step 3: Keep Calm

“Dogs do a pretty good job of holding themselves tight until we can get to them,” says McKeon. Follow their lead and remain calm. Panicking with only educe more stress in your dog.

Keeping Your Pets Warm & Comfortable Indoors

dog winter blanket

If you have a hairless or small dog breed with a thin coat, it’s a good idea to have them keep a sweater on even indoors. Consider getting a dog winter blanket for your furry friend to snuggle in at home. Winter is cozy season, after all! 

Dog Blankets

get well gifts for dogs

A warm and comfortable dog bed is an essential household item for pet owners. You could also really spoil them with their very own sherpa or fleece dog blanket.

When looking for a pet blanket, make sure you get the right size for your dog. A large or x-large dog isn’t going to get a lot of warmth from a blanket that’s Chihuahua-sized. The best dog blanket for your amigo should fit just right — a la Goldilocks.

The Best Friends by Sheri lightweight throw blanket provides just the right amount of warmth for indoor use or on the go. The high-quality ultra-soft sherpa fur is designed to reminisce a mother’s fur coat, aiding your pet in superior comfort and security. Use it on the couch, on your bed, or on your pet’s bed in a kennel. This pet blanket can help protect your furniture, floors, and car seats and is great for travel. Best of all, it’s machine washable!

If shag isn’t your thing, the dog blankets also come in microfiber/microplush. Both blankets are available in two sizes. The 30″x40″ is best for small and medium pets up to 40 pounds. 40″x50″ best for medium and large pets.