Winter doesn’t have to mean curling up inside with the heater on! With the right gear and mindset you and your dog can head out for hikes, camping and overnight snow adventures.
Winter activities you can do include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snow camping and hiking. For a safe and enjoyable trip, ensure both you and your dog are protected from the elements. Like you get cold, a dog’s fur coat can only protect themselves from the weather to an extent. A warm dog jacket designed for cold temperatures can come in handy for these occasions, allowing your dog to stay out with you longer and have fun!
Before you go:
- Trim the long hair between your dog’s toes as long hair can encourage ice balls on the paws. Or you can have your dog wear dog booties which will also add traction, and prevent any cuts from sharp ice and rocks.
- Condition your dog to the type of exercise you will be doing, running in snow is very different to harder surfaces such as grass and pavement. Don’t expect to go out for hours if you are both starting out.
Things to look out for:
- Hypothermia – if you notice your dog excessively shivering or you notice them becoming lethargic, stop what you are doing, move to a warmer place if possible, cover them with blankets and use your body warmth to warm them up and seek out a vet as soon as possible.
- High-altitude sickness
- Thin ice on frozen bodies of water
- Sufficient hydration for both you and your dog
- Snow balling on your dogs coat and paws, this can be prevented by wearing a protective warm jacket and booties.
What you need to take:
- Clean water
- Poop bags
- Brush to remove snow
- First Aid Kit
- Glowsticks (to attach to the collar at night)
- Long rope
- Collapsible dog bowl
- Warm jacket for dog
- Dog booties
- Paw wax
Winter adventures are a great way to exercise and have fun with your dog. Just be sure to adequately prepared for all weather types and equip your dog with the proper protective and warm gear for the trip.