Baby its cold outside! When it’s too cold for people to be outside, then it is also too cold for our pups. January is one of the coldest winter months. To keep furry family members warm, healthy, and safe, here are tips for caring for you pup this winter.

Model: Dakota, a 6-year-old male chocolate Yorkie. He is a certified pet therapy dog that enjoys spreading love to those who need it most. Photo by mom Wendy Williams Kapic; Coat: Etsy; Hat: Wendy Williams Kapic; Boots: Ugg. Follow Dakota on Instagram @dakotasyorkiediaries.

Bundle Up

Be mindful that a dog’s ears, nose, and paws are susceptible to frostbite if they are over exposed to freezing temperatures. Adding layers with dog coats, sweaters, caps, scarves, and foot protection, especially for dogs with thin coats, can make all the difference in keeping them warm during the wintertime. Booties not only help keep dog’s paws warm, but also add protection when walking on ice, snow, and salt.

Indoor activities

Since outdoor activities with your dog may be limited, the entire family can get involved with indoor games and activities centered around movement and challenge. Hide-and- seek is a fun indoor game. Dogs are curious and love a game of finding things. Hide your dog’s favorite toy or treat under a seat or a place that will be challenging to find. This will exercise your dog both physically and mentally as he/she tries to find the item. You can also fill a Kong ball with delicious treats and instruct your dog to find them. Winter is a great time to teach your dog new tricks as well. The key is to introduce fun activities that keep both their mind and body active.


Outdoor Dangers

When walking your dog, be mindful of weather conditions. Very importantly, beware of slippery surfaces. Just like people, a slip on the ice could send your pup to the vet with bumps, bruises or even serious breaks and sprains.

Dogs should be on a leash at all times when you are outside. They can lose their scent-sensing ability in snow and ice. Take shorter walks, and when you come in from the outside, wipe your dog's feet. They can track road salt and antifreeze which will not feel good, and they can also lick it off their paws. By incorporating these safety measures, your dog will have a fun, healthy and safe winter.