In winter with the dog outside: tips

Dogs have a thick coat - which does not mean that snow, ice and cold cannot bother them. Road salt, freezing temperatures and large temperature fluctuations between inside and outside can also be uncomfortable for our four-legged friends. Going outside with the dog in winter is especially nice with a little preparation - Image: Shutterstock / Blazej Lyjak

One problem, which especially affects city dogs in winter, is the sprinkling with salt on streets and footpaths. The salt attacks the dog's paws and burns very well when there are small scratches or injuries on the soft balls.

Winterize dog paws

It is best to grease your faithful friend's paws with a little petroleum jelly, milking fat or similar preparations so that he can walk carefree through snow and ice outside. Long-haired dogs also usually have tufts of fur between their toes. Keep the fur trimmed there as short as possible so that no snow, ice or mud gets stuck with road salt. Read more about the special paw care in winter in our guide "Protect dog paws from ice, sand and road salt".

Outside in winter: be careful with extreme weather conditions

In snow, ice, extreme cold and darkness, a little more caution is advised outside than usual. It is best to equip your four-legged friend with a luminous collar or a reflector vest for dogs so that it is well seen by cyclists and motorists at night and in fog becomes. With black ice, you should keep an eye on your four-legged friend and possibly take him on a leash. He too can slip and injure himself badly!

The risks of a frozen lake may also not be assessable for your dog. As long as the ice is not officially released, your dog should not enter it any more than you yourself, because the risk of it breaking in is great. But even if the lake is not frozen - in cold temperatures, an outdoor bath is not recommended for dogs. They quickly cool down and freeze through the wet fur. This can cause problems for the immune system, which can lead to a cold.

Coat for the dog or not?

Dog breeds with very short fur and without undercoat are not naturally protected from the cold in winter outdoors. You need a warm coat that also covers your sensitive stomach area, or a dog sweater. You can read more about this topic in our guide "Dog clothes in winter: sensible or not?".

Dogs in the snow: It's fun!

Beware: snow eaters and retrieving games can be dangerous

Snow eating is unfortunately not nearly as good for your dog as he probably thinks. Even if it tastes so delicious, the cold snow can make him sick. In addition to the likelihood that he will take dirt, road salt or other harmful substances with him, the cold also threatens an uncomfortable tonsillitis for the dog. It can also spoil the stomach, which can lead to gastritis (inflammation of the stomach).

A lot of movement and a brisk walking pace are wonderful for your dog in the cold, because this stimulates the circulation and ensures that it does not freeze so easily. Unfortunately, if the weather is too cold, he should still do without his beloved retriever game with the stick. Frozen wood tends to splinter when the dog carries it between his teeth, causing him to wreak havoc in the mouth. The risk of slipping is just too great when chasing wildly.

Some dog breeds are made for winter, for example the Bernese Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute. For example, they can be enthusiastic about dog training on cold days, and maybe even motivated to pull a sledge in the snow. It is important to have the right equipment, for example the right dog harness.

If you follow these tips, nothing should stand in the way of unlimited winter fun!