Transitioning from warmer weather to the cold winter can be hard on your dog.
However, that doesn’t have to mean that you and your dog need to hibernate inside the house all winter.
Winter is actually one of my favorite seasons to hike or snowshoe with my Dachshund Gretel
In order to help you keep your dog safe and comfortable in the winter season, I rounded up 9 of the best articles on the topic (click the heading to read them).
Hiking with your dog in winter is a great way to get exercise in the colder months.
However, hiking in the winter is very different than hiking with your dog in the summer. There are more dangers and dangers specific to the season.
If you and your dog are properly prepared and up-to-date on the safety tips in this article, it can still be a lot of fun for both of you.
This is another article that addresses concerns relevant to those of us that hike with our dogs in winter.
Hypothermia is one of the biggest health risks for dogs that go hiking, snowshoeing, or camping in the winter.
This article lays out how to protect your dog from hypothermia, what the signs of hypothermia in dogs are, and what to do if you suspect your dog has hypothermia.
In my opinion, hypothermia is one of THE most important things to know about if you adventure with your dog during the winter.
Often, winter adventures are closer to home.
Check out this article for tips on protecting your dog’s paws, keeping your dog warm, making sure your dog is visible in the dark mornings or evenings, and making sure your dog doesn’t run off in the dark and get lost.
Unless your dog is an arctic breed that is selectively bred to withstand subzero temperatures, they could probably use at least one warm jacket to get them through the winter safely and comfortably.
Dog jackets aren’t just for looks – they can keep your dog’s body temperature stable when they go outside for potty breaks each day, on quick walks, and on long winter hikes.
This article discusses how to tell if your dog needs to wear one.
If you know your small dog needs a jacket, check out my list of favorites.
If you are wondering if your dog should wear boots in the snow, or are wondering if my Dachshunds do, definitely check out this article.
Perhaps the answer is “no”, your dog doesn’t need to wear boots. However, your dog’s paws may still need some kind of protection.
This article explains the little system we use when boots aren’t necessary. It includes keeping a keen eye on the condition of your dog’s paws as well as applying a paw-protecting balm.
I think this is one of the best articles on this list and not just because it was written by a pet blogger friend of mine.
The article is a mix of winter safety for dogs and ways you can help your dog feel more comfortable on dog walks (or hikes) in the winter.
I think one of the most important points this article make is about the potential of flare ups in dogs with arthritis.
“Just as arthritis can be more problematic for us when the temperature drops, so too does this apply to our animals. If your best buddy appears stiff first thing in the morning or is more tentative when navigating stairs or jumping up and down off the furniture, I encourage you to contact your veterinarian.”
Because it’s likely that the colder temperatures can negatively affect your dog, it might be a good time to double up on supplements that aid our dog’s comfort and mobility.
This is a simple list but there is one item on there I know that most people don’t think about.
Well, actually two but they go together – a first aid kit with dog products and a bandana.
The first aid kit is pretty self explanatory but a bandana can be used as a tourniquet, or used along with a stick to make a splint, in case of injury.
With a keen awareness, and the right safety precautions, hiking with your dog in winter can be fun. Sometimes it’s even MORE fun than hiking in summer because the trails are often less crowded.