Winter is coming. Is your dog ready?

Cool mornings are here. My dogs have made sure their morning outings have gotten shorter. No more lingering in the sun. And it won’t be long until the cool mornings become cold mornings. So last weekend, I found all the winter gear and made sure it was clean and ready to go for another winter.

Winter can mean something different for every dog. My nephew has a Newfoundland and his favorite day is a snowstorm and 10 degrees. My new dog is thin and 40 degrees make him shiver. So has you go into winter, here are something to make your dog a happy Up North Winter dog.

  • Know your dog. Is your dog a breed that is cold hearty? Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and St Bernards all love winter weather. And so does my French Bulldog. She loves the snow. Make sure you know your dog’s love of winter and their cold tolerance.
  • Get them a coat. If your dog is small, short haired or not fond of cold, help them out. A coat can make a couch dog into a snow dog. They want to be warm too!
  • Always keep an eye on them when they are outside in the cold. They can go from being warm to cold quickly. Watch for cold feet and ears and get them inside when you think they’ve reached their limit.
  • Your home is colder in the winter so make sure their bedding is warm and comfy. A nice bed with a blanket to cover up with is perfect.
  • Watch your dog’s feet. If your dog refuses to wear booties, then make sure you trim the hair on the paws. Hair gets wet in the snow and freezes, or the hair remains cold and wet back indoors. Keep it short and clean. But not TOO short.
  • If your dog has longer hair, make sure you keep them brushed out. When you comb out the old dead hair, new thicker winter fur will grow.
  • Watch the temperature. No dog should be a full time outside dog in the winter. Even huskies need warmth. And when it’s bitterly cold, limit the amount of time your dog is outside. Every dog should have a warm, inside place to stay in the winter. There is no excuse to leave any dog outside for extended periods of time. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.

The snow is coming. Two of my dogs love it. The new puppy has a lot to learn about a Northern Michigan winter. So stay tuned for updates on how he’s adapting to being an Up North dog.