In some regions of the U.S. we have the most beautiful snow landscapes ever. Most dogs love the snow and enjoy rolling, walking, running and pulling a sled through the snow. Winter can be a time of great fun or great distress for your dog. I have always owned dogs that love the cold and playing in the snow. However, even with breeds bred for colder climates, with coats bred to repel wet and insulate the body, I have to prepare them for winter. Not all breeds are made for snow and feel discomfort. With some planning, your dog will not have to suffer through the cold. If you don’t know about your breed, ask your vet.
Today, we concentrate on the dogs, who love to catch snowballs and don’t mind to play in the cold. Breeds like Husky, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Labrador, Bearded Collie, Borzoi are just a couple of dogs are made for the snow.
If you want to train your dog to pull a sled, start early to teach him first to pull you on a bike couple months before the winter comes. Or let him pull you on Inline skates or a skateboard. Take the one, you and your dog feel most comfortable. Don’t let him pull your whole weight at the beginning on the bike, till your dog has enough muscles to pull you. If he is a powerful breed it should not be a problem to pull you easily. If you’re over weighted, you should ask your vet before. Use a specific harness and never use the collar of your dog.
Ice and snow can cause damage to your dog’s paws. Wipe your dog’s feet off after walks and I creme the paws with Vaseline. Not to much, just a little to avoid dry and rough paws. If you live in a area of constant snow fall and icy temperatures consider to buy your dog some foot protection snow boots, specially sold for dogs of course. You can also buy spray on safe pet deicer to apply directly to your dog’s paws and underbelly to keep snow from building up and forming ice balls.
We hope your dog is not living outside in the winter, if so provide a heated blanket and a adequate shelter for your dog to keep him warm.
Antifreeze is highly toxic, but a lot of dogs like to eat it. Just a small amount can kill your dog. Don’t let your dog eat snow or anything else from the ground.