The after-effects of rain and snow are slippery roads that are hazardous to travel on. If you are contemplating going on a journey in such perilous conditions, being fully prepared is a necessity.
Here are 10 easy steps you can use to ensure your journey remains safe and pleasant no matter the weather.
1. Buy Dog Raincoats and Vests for Rain and Snow
Some dog breeds were made to survive in very cold weather conditions. However, this is certainly not true for other dogs, especially small breeds. To protect your dog from the bitter cold, get him to wear a vest.
Additionally, place some reflective tape on the vest to make him more noticeable. For rainy weather, consider getting your dog a raincoat to keep him from getting wet and ill.
If you are looking for some help on picking out a dog raincoat, check out this amazing comprehensive article on raincoats for small dogs for some direction.
2. Don’t Forget Paw Protection
Ice melting chemicals, debris and snow can ravage dog paws. Therefore, you should protect your dog’s paws with specially formulated dog paw wax or get him to wear some shoes.
However, your dog will need to be trained to wear shoes. If you choose to apply wax, do this when he’s asleep and place a treat under his nose to distract him if he awakens.
3. Get Reflective Dog Collars and Leashes
Rain and snow can make it harder to be seen especially by vehicle drivers. Your dog’s safety may be compromised as a result. To ensure his security, get reflective collars and leashes to increase noticeability.
You can also cover your dog’s collar with reflective tape if you don’t want to buy new gear. Another great option is to try a puplight which is a collar that comes with a flashlight.
4. Make Sure Your Dog Has His ID Tag
If you and your dog get into a tug of war match with his leash and he manages to escape, placing an ID on him beforehand increases the chances of him being found and returned home.
Additionally, giving him a reflective ID tag will further increase his visibility.
5. Opt for Less Congested Roads
Avoid roads that are choked with vehicles. The loud honking of horns and whirring of engines will induce anxiety in your dog. Plus you and your dog might not enjoy getting a mouthful kicked up by car passing a puddle.
6. Bring Supplies to Clear Obstacles
Bring a shovel and some pet-friendly ice melting chemical with you on your journey. Use the shovel to clear pathways overburdened by snow while the ice melting chemical should be used on ice-crusted, slippery paths which possess a danger to you both.
Never use salt as ice melting chemical because it will irritate your dog’s paws.
7. Clean up after Your Dog
It is easy to think that you can just leave your dog’s waste lying around when it’s snowing. After all, falling snow can conceal almost anything.
However, you should always clean up after your dog because your dog can possibly catch a disease from coming into contact with stale droppings.
8. Wash Your Dog Before You Enter the House
Splashing about in contaminated rainwater and mud puddles can make your dog very dirty. You wouldn’t want all that dirt inside the house. Therefore, you should hose down the dirt if the weather is warm enough.
Otherwise, opt for a warm wet towel to wipe off your dog.
Have a wet rag on hand to wipe off your dog’s paws after trekking through snow. Otherwise, your dog might lick off the ice melting chemicals from his paws.
9. Keep Towels Near Your Front Entrance
You should keep towels and a hairdryer nearby so you can easily reach them and dry off your dog to prevent any water from creating a mess inside your house.
10. Examine Your Dog for Signs of Frostbite
If you have been outside in extremely cold temperatures, you should thoroughly examine your dog for signs of frostbite. Pay more attention to vulnerable areas such as the nose, ears, tail, and footpads.
Frostbitten skin is pale and cold, and will remain so even after being warm indoors for a while. Eventually, the skin will become red and swollen.
If your dog does have frostbite, contact a veterinarian immediately.
By following the above advice and staying vigilant at all times, your journey will surely be a safe one.