Snow clumps may look cute, but could they harm your dog?
Snow. Some dogs hate it, that's true. But on the flip side, other pups love it so much that it might as well be another toy that they’ll play with for hours on end. Snow is something different. It’s something that’s falling from the sky and burying everyday surroundings. Plainly, some dogs in snow can make a perfect match–if you’re properly prepared.
Cold weather and frosty conditions can pose various hazards to unsuspecting dogs, which is why you need to think ahead. One of those potential wintertime hazards for dogs is the development of snow clumps on their fur. Snow clumps can form quickly and are more prone to develop on dogs with longer coats. Essentially, as the fur moves through snow, it will pick up little balls that melt from your dog’s body heat and then form small ice balls.
These snow clumps can irritate the skin and cause your dog to become colder than they should be. But what’s even more troublesome is when these ice balls compound within their paw pads. This can make it difficult for them to walk and could cause more issues as a result.
How to Get Rid of Snow Clumps on Dogs
If you already find yourself with a snow clump-filled dog, don’t worry. Here are two ways to quickly and safely remedy the situation.
- 1. Give your dog a bath: Simply fill the tube with lukewarm water and melt away the ice formations. Be sure to take your time. If a full bath isn’t in the cards, consider just soaking their paws and letting the warm steam melt away any snow clumps further up their body. Be sure to blow dry them or towel dry them enough so that they won’t get a chill after.
- 2. Go straight for a blow dry: If your dog is not blow dryer adverse, you may just want to melt those snow clumps with some warm air–no bath required. Toss a warm towel out of the dryer on the floor and blow dry your pup until the ice has melted and mostly dry. Be sure to check their paws too.
Dogs in Snow Tips and Tricks
As long as the temperature is about 45°F or warmer, it’s safe to let dogs play in the snow. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to let your dog enjoy their snow day to the fullest. Here’s how to prevent snow clumps from forming on dogs in the first place, plus other helpful tips:
10 Dog Snow Day Tips
- 1. Put on snow gear. If your dog wants to play in the snow, they should wear a waterproof jacket and snowshoes or paw covers.
- 2. Apply paw balm. If paw coverings are out of the question, apply a paw balm before and after outside playtime.
- 3. Trim foot fuzz. Also be sure to trim excess fur around their paw pads. This will cut down on the chance of snow clumps forming or ice melt sticking to the fur.
- 4. Apply some coconut oil. If some fur is still peeking out of a jacket or vest, apply a small amount of coconut oil to their fur or hair. The slickness will help repel some snow from sticking.
- 5. Avoid salt and ice melt. Be mindful of areas, like sidewalks and driveways, that may have salt and ice melt. Consider taking different paths to get your pup to a safe area to run and play.
- 6. Don’t forget to hydrate. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your dog won’t be working up a sweat. Bring an outdoor water bowl for them on any snow day excursions.
- 7. Pack a snack. Your dog will also be working up an appetite, so pack some Sundays along for the fun. Luckily our recipes are shelf stable and super easy to pack.
- 8. Clean your dog's paws. Once you’re in for the day, take the proper time to clean your dog’s paws and inspect them for any hidden salt or ice clumps.
- 9. Consider buying a heated bed. If your dog really loves to play in the snow, you may want to buy a heated dog bed.
- 10. Add some warmth to their bowl. To warm your pup up from the inside out, consider adding some warm water or low sodium chicken broth to their Sundays at mealtime.
Make time with dogs in the snow fun and safe by following these tips!