My puppy, Gretta (pictured below), is experiencing her very first cold winter this year. So far, she isn’t a fan of the big chill! The wind, the cold, the wet – it’s a Dachshund’s worst nightmare!
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Do Dog Paws Get Cold In The Winter?
Yes, dogs can get frostbite or hypothermia when cold weather temperatures go below 40°F. If you take your doxie for daily walks, make sure to always dress your Dachshund in a warm winter coat, use some paw protection, and keep your walks brief (15-20 minutes max).
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dog’s Feet?
Personally, I don’t take my pups for a walk if it is below 30°F. My Dachshunds love walks, but if they are fighting against the frigid cold wind to stretch their little legs, we stay home and play inside instead.
If the outside temperature is below zero, Do Not take your dog for a walk.
It won’t be a fun walk for you and not worth the risk for your pup.
Is It Safe To Walk Dogs In Snow?
It is OK to play and walk with your Dachshund in the ‘shallow snow’ as long as they are wrapped up in a warm, water-proof doggie sweater or coat, have paw protection, and aren’t standing in the snow for too long.
Don’t let your dog hang out in the snow for more than 15 minutes to prevent painful splitting paw pads or frostbite.
Dachshunds are low to the ground and more exposed to the cold elements of winter. Be conscious of your doxie’s comfort level when outside.
If the temperature is too cold for you, it’s too cold for your Dachshund.
Winter Hazards For Dog Paws
A dog’s paws, legs, and ears are the most vulnerable body parts to frostbite, especially when wet. Frostbite occurs when the tissue below the skin freezes.
During the cold winter months, many folks add rock salt or ice melt to their driveways and sidewalks. This is toxic to dogs!
These substances can cause cracking, dryness, and even chemical burn to your pup’s paws if not cleaned off or properly protected.
The salt can also get stuck in between your doxie’s toes, causing irritation.
If your Dachshund licks the rock salt or ice melt on the bottom of their feet, it can cause mouth sores and some nasty stomach issues.
If your dog accidentally consumes large amounts of rock salt or ice melt, take them to the vet ASAP.
Ways to Protect Your Dachshund’s Paws This Winter
After a chilly walk, gently wipe off and dry your dog’s paws to remove any ice and salt chemicals and prevent irritation.
If your Dachshund is willing to wear a dog shoe or boot, here are the highest recommended dog boots online.
1. Dog Boots: This is a more rugged dog boot for winter hikes or longer walks in the snow and ice. They are waterproof, washable, and made for rain, snow, or hot pavement.
2. Dog Shoes: Made for smaller dogs. These adorable dog shoes have adjustable and reflective straps to ensure a comfortable fit. They are waterproof to help your pup’s paws stay dry and warm.
3. Winter Dog Boots: help protect your pup’s paws from ice melt, salt, and snow. They even keep your dog’s paws nice and toasty while outside.
Note: Always remove your dog’s booties after walking.
I highly recommend PawTection Dog Paw Balm to protect my Dachshund’s precious paws in the wintertime.
If your Dachshund won’t wear dog boots, try this paw wax instead.
This paw wax protects from ice and salt and contains vitamin E to keep your doxie’s paws moisturized. It can also be used to heal paw pad wounds. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and non-staining.
If your dog’s paws get a little too slippery inside the house after applying the wax, there is too much product on their feet. It is better to start small and work the wax into the pad, between the toes, and wipe off excess wax with a paper towel.
Note: Some dog owners use Vaseline to protect their dog’s paws. I would not recommend putting a petroleum-based product on your dog’s paws. We all know that dog’s lick their paws, and it is not safe to eat.
Your Dachshund dog should be bathed less frequently during the cold winter season. Bathing too often can strip away your dog’s natural oils, causing itchy, dry skin and paws.
If there’s too much stink and your doxie really needs a bath, use a moisturizing dog shampoo.
When your Dachshund comes in from going potty outside or a walk, dry them off. Especially their belly, paws, and legs. Remove any ice balls between your dog’s toes or fur.
Tip: Don’t risk it, keep outside potty breaks and walks limited when it’s cold outside.
Inside Activities For Your Dachshund
When it’s too cold to go outside for a walk or playtime, your doxie still needs a way to burn off that extra energy or they will get bored and destructive. Here are some tips to help your dog stay active and exercised this winter.
Using a dog puzzle or IQ dog toy will increase their excitement to learn by including yummy treats with playtime.
Keep your Dachshund occupied for longer periods of time and reduce destructive behaviors by including these recommended mind-motivating dog toys.
How long has it been since you taught your Dachshund a new trick or command?
It doesn’t matter how young or old they are, it is a great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with your pup.
Teach your Dachshund how to sit, come, lay down, rollover, or shake hands. If your pup knows all of the basic tricks, then you could learn some more advanced commands.
If you have more than one dog and are ready for a more advanced command, try the two dogs photo pose video from McCann Dog Training.
Play Dates & Agility Training:
Play Dates: Set up some doggie play dates with your friends.
Also, check out your local doggie daycare to see if you can do a drop off a couple times per week to help your doxie stay socialized. This will give your Dachshund lots of exercise and plenty of social time during those long winter months.
Dog Agility: Indoor Dog Park or Gym with Agility Courses.
I admit, these special canine places are harder to find, but if you have one nearby – check it out! A Dog Agility park provides ramps, tunnels, and other obstacles to help burn off all of that pent up energy.
Here is an example called BarkPark! on YouTube.
Or, you could just build your own Agility Play Center! Here are some easy Dog Agility Ideas from Zak George’s YouTube Channel.
They also have small dog treadmills on Amazon that you can have in the comfort of your own home. This is a more convenient way to keep your doxie moving and grooving through the winter.
Tip: Keep your home humidified. Dry heat can cause your dog to have itchy skin.
Don’t forget this wintertime gem! Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce. This can cause a severely low body temperature due to cold exposure. If you notice any of the following symptoms, get your pup to the vet fast.
Symptoms Of Hypothermia In Dogs:
- Strong Shivering
- Sleepy and Weak
- Cold Fur
- Decreased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Blue or Pale Gums
- Walking Issues
- Breathing Complications
Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?
Whether your Dachshund is a short-hair, long-hair, or wire-hair, their coats are pretty thin, which doesn’t provide much protection in the cold winter weather.
As your doxie gets older, it gets harder to regulate their body temperature. So, they do need some extra warmth and protection when it’s cold outside.
During the cold winter months, your doxie will be more comfortable going outside in the frigid air with a warm dog coat and some paw protection.
How do you protect your Dachshund’s feet in the winter? Let us know in the comments below.