Winter can be a challenging time for pet owners that want dogs to get exercise outside but want them to stay protected from the elements. Don't be fooled by the fur coat. Dogs that stay outside under 32 degrees Fahrenheit risk health complications including frostbite and hypothermia. Here are tips for letting your dog play outside in the winter.
- Shorten outdoor playtime to 15-20 minutes instead of 30. On a good day, dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily activity; but dogs that stay outside in the snow risk injury to foot pads and cold nips. Buy dog boots and coats for dogs if the plan is to keep dogs outside for longer than 15 minutes each day.
- Let dogs play outside while the sun is shining. The sun will make dogs feel warm and are less likely to shiver from cold temperatures and chilly wind gusts.
- Give dogs an escape plan from the cold. Let them come inside or provide them with a dog house for shelter.
Large dogs such as mastiff, rottweilers and Siberian huskies, can handle the cold better than medium and smaller dogs; however, these dogs are still at risk of dog winter health problems.