MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans become accustomed to doing things in the bitter cold. So while people know to bundle up, you should keep your dog in mind on those cold days too.
Experts say dogs can lose their own scent this time of year. As a result, they can easily get lost. But that doesn’t mean you should lock them inside all winter.
“No matter how cold it is, the dogs still want to go outside, they still need their exercise. So it’s important to monitor the temperature outside and especially how the pet is doing when they’re outside,” said Jimmy Millard with Chuck and Don’s Pet Food Outlet.
If you do venture outside with your dog, there are specific parts that you will want to watch out for when it gets cold.
“One of the big things to watch out for are their paws,” said Millard. “The salt and chemicals that are used for sidewalks, when dogs go on walks, a lot of times they’ll bring it back in them. When you see your dog come back in, a lot of times they’ll lick their feet, so they can ingest a lot of those things.”
A product that can help is called Musher’s Secret. It’s a wax that you can put on their paws that creates a layer between their feet and the ground. It can also help keep snowballs from forming between their toes.
Musher’s Secret is a non-toxic wax, that’s absorbed into the paws. It’s advertised as 100-percent natural.
For dogs with shorter coats, boots are another good option to protect their paws.
Another option to keep the pooch warm is putting a coat on them. Not only can it keep them warm, but the layer, especially on the chest, can also protect them from those chemicals on the sidewalk.
If you do venture outside, keep an eye on the dog for signs that they’re cold, like holding up their feet while walking.
If the temperatures are cold enough so going outside isn’t an option, pick up some puzzle toys to keep the dogs busy.
This time of year, cats may also be begging to go outside. Some say it’s best to resist the temptation to simply let a cat out, unsupervised because they can get lost.
“A lot of times they’ll seek a warm spot, which sometimes is an engine, and it’s not good when an engine gets started and a cat is in there,” said John Imholte with Chuck and Don’s Pet Food Outlet.