Cold Weather Tips

So, my dog parenting was recently called out by commenters on a post that my friends at Darwin Dogs shared on their Facebook page of Roscoe out in the snow. darwin

People commented how dogs shouldn’t “live outside” in the snow and how it was mean that he was out in the cold. Although it was only a few commenters out of several, it was still so crazy to me. I know Roscoe looks a little annoyed here, but I think he was just taken off guard. It’s been so long since we’ve seen snow! (His next reaction was of course to roll around in it.) A little snow is not going to hurt your dog. I am guessing the people who commented don’t actually even have dogs.

As a dog parent of course you have to be aware of the weather conditions and sensitive to the fact that your dog shouldn’t be outside too long, but you don’t have to keep them inside all the time during the winter. My two dogs actually really love the snow. Hunter, more than Roscoe, but they both have no problem going outside and taking a walk no matter what the snow levels are.

Nobody loves the snow as much as this guy.
Nobody loves the snow as much as this guy.


If your dogs are like mine and you still want to get them out in the winter, here are a few tips to protect them from the cold:

Bundle Up – Depending on the type of fur your dog has, you might want to put him or her in a sweater or jacket before going out on a walk. For Hunter, I don’t worry about this too much since he has a few layers of fur, but I always put Roscoe in a sweater or jacket when we go out.


Protect their Paws – Snow, ice and salt can get caught up in your dog’s paws when you take them on a walk. If you can’t get them to wear booties (I haven’t tried these before, but just assume my dogs would hate them), you can use petroleum jelly or Musher’s Secret on your dog’s paws before you go out. Just make sure to wipe it off when you get back in so your dog doesn’t lick it up.

Don’t Use Retractable Leashes! – This tip is more for you, than your dog. It can be easy to slip on the ice, so giving your dog too much leash and having him pull you on your walk is a recipe for disaster. Use a short leash for better control of your dog.

Do you have a dog that loves the snow?

Author: dogsinthecle

The source for what to do with your dog in Cleveland.

9 thoughts on “Cold Weather Tips”

  1. Ugh, why did you float Roscoe out to sea on that glacier?! I’m calling Social Services!

    Nelly, Murphy, and Frank just got dog boots this week via Amazon. We will let you know how they turn out! (Challenge 1: Get them on twelve paws.)


  2. Oh people are crazy! What’s he going to do, hold it until spring? They have to go outside 🙂

    I use booties but mostly because of sidewalk/street salt – my dog who wears them doesn’t like them much but keeps them on. Also good to wipe down paws after coming in so that they don’t lick the salt off!


    1. Seriously! He’d been out for two minutes at that point to go potty. I know some people use pee pads, and if I really felt like he hated it, I’d use those too. He’s a tough little guy, just looks pathetic in this pic : )

      And good tip on wiping off the salt! Important to remember too.


      1. Yea I browsed through the responses because I wanted to know how people could manage to turn around a cute little pic – they sure managed to!

        I am not a fan of potty pads because I think they can be confusing to some dogs and you never know if they will/won’t cause more trouble than they’re worth until you have a dog thinking your living room rug is a potty pad 🙂

        Short walks outside are good for the dog mentally as well – they need to explore and sniff and see different things! Obviously if they’re uncomfortable keep it to a minimum.

        I use PAWZ boots on my dog who wears booties – they’re cheap and reusable and they don’t cause too much funny walking 🙂


  3. It depends on the breed, not to mention the dog! My furry furry shibas love the snow, although they aren’t fans of the single digit temps and wind chill. I’m less of a fan, so favor letting them out in our fenced-in yard more often in this weather, and then a shorter walk. Apparently even they were daunted by today’s weather, as two of the times I offered the outside option, I just got a look, and no movement, which NEVER happens! (Never fear, they were still outside at least 6 times, 10 minutes at a time, including several laps of the Shiba 500).

    One of our girls was a mill rescue from the south, and her paws seem more sensitive to the cold than the other girl’s, so we have booties for her – we tried a few that didn’t stay on well, but the Pawz seem to do the trick. They’re basically just balloons with a wider opening, so don’t do much for warmth, but keep her feet dry and salt-free at least, and they stay on (and if they don’t, they come in 12-packs, so you can lose a few and still have a booted dog)! I wouldn’t say she loves them, but she tolerates them, and as a bonus, her pawprints when she wears them are sort of duck-like, with webbed toes…


  4. Last winter we walked and/or played ALMOST every day. This year it’s been tough to get adjusted, with the unseasonably warm weather BUT we will do mug of the same I’m sure. I also got shouted at (literally…while on a walk in the park on a 25 degree afternoon) that I should “take my f&$@%#! dog inside where it was warm instead of being an a$$hole” I was floored!


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