As winter draws near, and Edmonton we can expect that winter will always come fast than we expect, we prepare ourselves by dragging out the boots, the big coats and snow pants, but what about all our furry friends? Living downtown can present it’s own unique problems as well as the cold and unpredictable winters Edmonton is known for. What if you have a pet that needs lots of stimulation how are you suppose to combat boredom when it’s 30 below outside?
Not all dogs need jackets, but it’s something to consider if you have a small breed dog or a breed that has no undercoat (ei. Poodles, greyhounds and some terriers), as they were not bred to withstand cold weather. Jackets should fit your dog comfortably and using the two finger rule, like with collars, is an easy way to tell if it’s a good fit. Most jackets reach to base of your pet’s tail, but some are designed to go further, but when fitting your dog there should be enough material to cover them, but not so much that it will prevent them from being able to urinate (which would make a messy clean up for you!).
The majority of the salts used to clear the sidewalks on the market are not safe for our pets paws, and when you’re living downtown it can be difficult to avoid these areas. Pet friendly salts are available, businesses could also consider using gravel to prevent slips, but in the cases when businesses are not willing to go the extra lengths, there are always booties to protect your pets paws! There are many types of boots available for pets, some are more similar to the boots we wear which can be uncomfortable for some pets, but there are also boots are are simply made of rubber that put a barrier between the pads of their feet and the harsh chemicals on the sidewalk. Another thing to consider is getting boots to prevent snow and ice build up between the pads of their paws. Often, paws get cold from this build, and for pets with long fur or who especially love to jump into deep snow this can make a huge difference.
As the cold weather settles in, you may walk your pet less or for shorter period of time which may leave you pet feeling under stimulated and bored which can lead to poor behavioral habits, the most common being destructive behavior like chewing or excessive barking. Providing you pet with boredom busters like puzzle toys can be a great way to stimulate your pet and there are many kinds of puzzle toys! Teaching your pet news tricks can also be incredibly rewarding for you and your pet, it challenges both of you and create a even closer bond. There are many classes available in Edmonton, but there are also many resources online on training.
Winter sneaks up on us every year! Preparing yourself and your pet for winter in regards to their physical health, but also mental health plays a huge in the well being of you and your pet.