The New Year is here, and with that comes sub-zero temperatures that January and February like to bring here in Wisconsin. The cold weather discourages many pet parents from going on a walk with their furry family members, but here are some tips on how to keep your dog safely moving to beat some of those winter blues.

Keep it Short and Sweet – Shorten the time you and your dog are exposed to the frigid temperatures, even a 5-10 minute walk around the block can help keep your dog happy.

Clothing Optional – Some dog breeds are much better suited for the cold weather than others. You can help your companion keep warm by dressing them in a jacket, sweater, and even booties/socks! All these are great options for keeping your dog warm and protected.

Paw Protection – Booties (or doggy socks) are a great option to protect your dog’s paws from the cold and any harmful salt that may be on the ground. Other options can include a paw wax, like Musher’s Secret, to act as a barrier to protect your dog’s paws from the elements.

You can also help out your companions paws by keeping the fur in between their toes trimmed to prevent ice from accumulating in the hair, and using a moisturizer like Coconut oil to prevent cracking or splitting of the paw pads.

Pet-Safe Traction – Non-toxic, pet-friendly ice melting products should also be highly considered to keep not only your dog protected, but your neighbor’s dog too!

For The Seniors – Just like with humans, cold weather can affect a dogs joints, and conditions such as arthritis are more likely to flare up. Avoid slippery surfaces and keep the walks short. Also consider to discussing joint supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, with your veterinarian.