Winter with Your Havanese
Winter can be a nuisance both for you and your pup, but there are several ways to stay safe and have fun! Every year we get calls on how to acclimate pups to the bad weather. Below are some tips to keep your pup safe, active and happy this winter season!
Acclimating to the winter elements:
There is nothing quite like watching a dog experience snow for the first time. Keep in mind, every dog is unique and has his own individual preference for fun, especially when it comes to playing outside in the cold weather.
Gradually Acclimate to the Cold
- The key is slow acclimation.
- If your pup seems comfortable and isn’t shivering or trying to get back inside, it should be just fine for him to stay outside for a little longer.
- Start with short sessions outside and slowly increase, so he has time to adjust.
Make Potty Time More Efficient
- Try shoveling a patch of grass for potty time, so he have a spot to go right away.
- If there are areas with more protection from snow, ice and wind, encourage him to go there instead.
- Review our House Breaking Blog for step-by-step tips!
Keep an Eye Out for Hazards/Toxins
- Keep an eye on dogs eating snow, especially in places treated with de-icing agents.
- Some rock salts can be toxic, but most de-icing agents will definitely upset his stomach and it can aggravate his paws.
- Antifreeze tastes sweet but is toxic. Look for blue or green colored substances on driveways, sidewalks and cars and keep your dog away from those spots and eating snow.
- Wipe off his paws before they come inside to remove any salt or antifreeze residue he might lick off.
Warm Your Pup Up
- If your dog seems cold, cover him with a towel or blanket.
- You can also use a blow dryer on a low setting.
- You can purchase sweaters/snow gear for your pup.
Protect Dogs Feet in the Snow
- To protect your dog’s paws in winter and prevent cracked pads, try putting your dog in booties.
- Clean his paws every time they come inside.
- Make sure his nails are trimmed properly to keep him walking normally and help minimize slipping.
Keep your pup active
- Idle time can lead to destructive or nervous behavior due to pent-up energy.
- Once you have acclimated your dog and prepared for cold weather, continue walking your dog in winter and let him play outside.
Tips to keep your pup active and enjoying winter:
If you find you and your dog house-bound due to extreme cold or snow, your four-legged family member could get agitated from a lack of physical activity. When the weather will not permit you to play outside, there are always fun options for indoor activities as well.
Keep walking your pup
- If it’s too cold outside go to local dog-friendly stores.
Make Him Work for His Food
- Feeding can be a great outlet for mental and physical energy.
- Rather than just putting a bowl of food down in front of your dog at mealtime, why not try giving him a little mental challenge?
- Working a dog’s mind can tire him out just as much as, if not more than, taking him for a long walk.
- Treat-dispensing toys are a great way to give your pup’s brain a serious workout.
- Bully sticks are a GREAT way to distract your pup for hours while helping with chew training!
- Slow feeders are another option to stimulate and work your pup’s brain.
- Some of these dog dishes look more like mazes than bowls, but they will keep your pup’s brain engaged while he is filling his belly.
Keep it Simple
- You can challenge your dog just by hiding a few treats around the house for him to sniff out or by placing his food in a new location at feeding time and encouraging him to figure out where it is.
- If your dog has a good canine buddy who can visit for an indoor play session, send an invitation right away.
- Create an outdoor snow maze
- If you have got a big backyard, there is a whole field of opportunity after a big storm. With just a shovel or snowblower, you can create a shallow maze for smaller dogs whose stature makes it difficult to see over even the shortest of walls.
- One of our favorite things to do with our dogs in winter!
Remember, at Royal Flush Havanese, we are ALWAYS here to help! Please be mindful of all the dangers that come with the winter weather! We MUST protect our furry babies! Be sure to contact us is you ever need any assistance or support!