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3 Tips Before You Take Your Dog to the Snow

Updated: May 15, 2023

Goodbye hot summer days, hello winter! Maybe you are planning a trip to the snow or visiting family who lives in a winter wonderland, prepping for your pups first cold weather outing is a necessity. The last thing you want to do is be under prepared and have to make an unexpected veterinary visit on your trip.

The good news is, with these 3 tips, your furry friend will be ready to adventure with you.

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1.Have the correct clothing. Now, if you have a Husky for a dog, you can probably skip this tip. But for those dog owners that have the pup with short hair, and you know, the ones that tend to shiver on a winter day in SoCal, you most certainly want to get your pup some clothes. This can be a water resistant puffer or maybe even a rain jacket. Either way, be sure to check the weather and pack accordingly.

2.Get the correct footwear. If you plan on waking your dog or being outside in cold weather for more than 20 minutes, invest in snow boots. Not only do you want to keep Fido's paws from frostbite, but you want to protect them from salt, and ice melt chemicals. Which are toxic to dogs. The best part, dog paw-wear, unlike hooman footwear, is super affordable. You can grab a set of 4 boots for as little as $20.

3. Introduce clothing and gear slowly. So, you got all the gear, and now you're ready to put it on your pup...But before you jump to that step, take time and slowly introduce the pup to these new items. Depending on how well your dog tolerates clothing and footwear, you might need to set a dedicated amount of time each day leading up to your trip. For me, I started practicing 2 weeks ahead of time. First, I put on the puffer while indoors. My dog, Finn, is already used to use wearing a harness, so this wasn't too unfamiliar. But even though he is used to it, he does not like to wear any clothing. If your dog is highly sensitive to their paws being touched, you should let your dog sniff the boots and reward them with a treat every time they do. This starts to build a positive association with the boots. For Finn, The boots were a brand-new sensation. Luckily, he is already used to me handling his paws, as I trim his nails myself. With that in mind, I started one boot on the back paw, and let him walk inside for a few minutes. Once he got used to wearing one, I then put on the other boot and had him walk inside for 10 minutes. The next day, I put on both back boots and walked him outside for 10 minutes. Rinse and repeat until your pup tolerates wearing all of them.

There you have it, those are my 3 tips to get your pup ready for the snow! Now, watch Finn with all his snow-gear on, enjoy his FIRST time in the snow!!

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