Cold winter months are just as tough on pets as they are on people. Since it appears our next polar vortex might be just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to protect Fido during the frigid winter. Pet expert and owner of Pet Naturals Jami Ippolito has some helpful tips for dog parents:
1. Steer clear of salt: The salt used to melt snow and ice can burn your pets’ little paws. Jami recommends Musher’s Secret, a wax-like product that forms a barrier between the padding on their paws and the salty, icy ground.
2. Mindful menus: While it’s important to always serve your dog nutritious food, it’s especially vital during the winter months. Fishes like salmon, sardines, and whitefish provide important Omega 3 fatty acids that help ward off dry, itchy skin, maintain a healthy, shiny coat and preserve brain function and mental acuity. Jami recommends rotating between a fish-based food and a health treatment like Alaskan Naturals Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to ensure your dog is getting the nutrients they need to be at their best this winter.
3. Choose clothing carefully: While most dogs need some type of protection against the elements, short-haired dogs need extra warmth. When possible opt for a jacket or coat that’s water-resistant to keep them from getting wet in the snow, sleet, or rain.
4 Pamper paws (and skin): Much like the way winter weather can lead to dry, chapped skin in people, it can wreak havoc on your pup. Moisturize their paws and skin with coconut oil to prevent the itching and cracking brought on by cold weather-related dryness. When it comes time for grooming, Jami also recommends a using moisture-rich shampoo like Earthbath Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera Shampoo.
5. Boredom busters: The inability to run, play and spend time outside can lead to dog feeling cooped up. Ward off their boredom and keep them active by making sure you have plenty of raw bones and new toys around.
Also important to remember is that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Further, snow can dilute dogs’ sense of smell, which is why so many dogs get lost in the winter months. Always keep your pet leashed, even if he’s normally well behaved and stays by your side––it’s simply not worth the risk.
About Paw Naturals: Founded in 2007 by Jami Ippolito, Chicago’s Paw Naturals offers healthy pet treats, vitamins/supplements, herbal remedies and all-natural grooming products ranging from shampoos and spritzes to eye, ear and dental care. Located at 932 W. Monroe, Paw Naturals is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. For more information or to shop online 24/7, visit pawnaturals.com.