- If you have a dog that stays outside most of the time, bring them indoors or at least in a garage or barn where they have plenty of shelter to block the wind and elements. If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pets.
- If you have a dog like Woody with short hair and sensitive temperament to the temperature, it might be a good idea to invest in a sweater or jacket. Target has a fluffy vest for $11.99, and any pet store, such as Petsmart, Moochie & Co. and PetCo, will have plenty of options in a variety of price ranges.
- Dogs' paws can be very sensitive to salt. I know Woody well enough to know that he would never let me put shoes on his feet, so I just carry him out to the grass avoiding the salty street and sidewalk. However, this is not really logical for big dogs. One great way to protect them is with doggy shoes. Again, you can find these at most pet stores, and the chain stores tend to have a few options. Pro tip: Give them some time to practice walking in them before taking them outside. It takes a little bit of getting used to.
- With the frigid temps and icy sidewalks, sometimes it's not exactly safe, let alone bearable, for you or your dog to take any sort of walk let alone long ones. To make up for lost outdoor exercise, make sure you set aside a good amount of time to play indoors. Whether you prefer fetch, tug of war, or watching your dog work with one of those Nina Ottosson treat mazes (which are awesome), these games will help your dog blow of steam and give you some awesome entertainment to break up the cabin fever. Also, consider using this as time to teach your dog some new tricks. You would be surprised what they can learn if you just take the time to work on it.
- Refrain from taking dogs with you on errands in which you need to leave them in the car. Dogs should not be left in the car during periods of time when temperatures are extreme.
For a complete list of tips for keeping your dog warm and safe, visit the American Kennel Club website. What are some things you do to help your dog stay warm in the cold weather months?