The Northern Hemisphere is battling winter until March, but pups still need to earn their BarkPoints and get moving to stay healthy.
But, what about the harsh salt on paws and the cold?
Here are the ways you can protect your dog from the harshness of the frozen months while still being active:
First and foremost, when it is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog should never be left in the car. Vehicles turn into refrigerators in the winter the same way they become ovens in summer.
Consider your pet's coat. If you own a double coated breed or a dog from the spitz family, you can probably be a bit more lenient about the temperatures you let the dog stay in. If your dog is a short-coated chihuahua or Italian greyhound, it would be wise to invest in sweaters or coats. Make sure to have multiple, so if a snow day play session ensues, there is a dry coat ready for the next walk.
Frozen pond walks are not romantic for your pet. If your dog were to slip below the ice, you would never forgive yourself.
Paws are always a big concern when there is ice on the ground. Not only is the ice and snow harsh between the toes, but the salt and freeze prevention chemicals dry out and harm your pet's pads.
There are multiple brands of balms to heal paws and boots can be bought for all-around protection (and some have added traction!).
Last, and obviously, pay attention to your pet's behavior. If she is whining, shivering, trying to lay closer to you -- listen. Changes in her FitBark hourly activity levels may also give you clues to her condition. She is telling you she is cold and that her environment needs changing.