Caring for Your Dog in Winter

Winter can be great fun for our pets–they get to explore their world in a new way and many dogs love playing in the snow. However, it can also be a challenge, presenting new health considerations for our beloved pooches. Cold weather brings some important new care practices, both indoors and out. While you should consult your veterinarian for specific guidance tailored to your dog, here are useful practices:


  • Check your dog’s feet! If your pup is outside during cold weather, examining and caring for their feet is important. Cold can lead to chapped or irritated skin, especially on the paws, and ice and snow can exacerbate the problem. Ice in particular can cause lacerations as can winter salting, so regular checks of your dog’s feet during winter are important. They do make dog booties and other protective cold-weather gear, and those might be good for your pets in cold weather during outside time.
  • On a related note, frostbite is a concern for many breeds during cold weather, and you should definitely keep an eye on smaller dogs, shorter-haired breeds, or any dog not bred or accustomed to cold weather. If your dog’s acting cold, it’s past time to bring them inside. Learning to recognize and treat cold injuries including frostbite is a must for any pet owner in cold weather.
  • Adjusting your dog’s diet may help them stay healthy during the winter months. If your dog is spending less time outside and more time snoozing in front of the fire, you may need to reduce their calorie intake in order to maintain a healthy weight. Likewise, winter weather and indoor heating can lead to dry skin in many breeds, so enhancing their food with additional skin and coat supplements might help. Coconut oil is a safe moisturizer for topical problems, so keep some around if your dog is prone to dry skin. 
  • Hydration is important during cold weather. Just because you and your pet aren’t running around in the heat of summer doesn’t mean you can ignore their water needs–or yours, for that matter. Ensuring that your dog has access to fresh water, both indoors and out is a must. Eating snow is not great for dogs, even though many enjoy it, and isn’t a substitute for drinking water.
  • Grooming your pets is an absolute must in wintertime, and indeed all year ‘round. Your dog needs a clean coat for insulation, and to stay healthy in general. Regular bathing is a must in winter, but do make sure you dry your dog thoroughly–wet fur is no fun in the cold and may lead to frostbite or hypothermia!

There’s every reason for your dog to enjoy winter just as much as you do, but as we’ve pointed out you’ll need to make some additional allowances for their health, safety, and comfort when it’s cold outside. When it comes to grooming your dogs in winter, you’ll want to make the process as easy as possible. That’s where K9000 comes in! Our self-serve dog washing stations make bathing and drying your pet a snap, taking the frustration out of trying to do it at home and leaving your pup clean and dry no matter what the weather. For a safer and easier dog-washing experience, give K900 a try today!