Dogs are known to enjoy the outdoors but some, especially the small ones, happen to be at a disadvantage when it comes to winter. The most frequently asked question in dog forums is why my dog refuses to walk in winter. Knowing where to walk your dog and how often to walk dog breeds during the winter is the main solution to most of these concerns.
1. Take the Dog for a Walk Through Layers of Snow
Small dogs, unlike big ones, may be unable to power through the snow due to their small size. Small dogs neither have the strength nor the height to power through the snow – this may lead to sinking for the dogs. This is a major cause of fear and apprehension. How often you take the dog for a walk may help with this. Remember, dogs are also susceptible to hypothermia.
2. Short Legs Are Closer to the Snow
During winter, the most undesirable thing to touch is the snow. It may become a big issue to walk your dog in the snow as most small dogs feel the snow since their underbellies may come into direct contact with it. This may be the reason why many small dog owners will keep complaining “my dog won’t walk” during winter.
3. Winter Coat Was Not Made for the Small Dog
Large dogs like the Northern breeds such as the Alaskan Malamutes or German Shepherd generally have thick, dense coats that protect them from the cold and keep them warm and you should consider choosing the best dog food for German Shepherd in this regard. The short-haired breeds are unable to generate enough heat to keep them warm. A good reason for not wanting to go out is the lack of a winter coat. When you want to take the dog for a walk, ensure small dogs without a natural coat will have one purchased for them. When you want to take the dog for a walk, ensure it has the small dog clothes such as coats and hoodies that will assist during the winter.
4. Small Dogs Are More Affected By Extreme Temperatures
Scientific data has proven that small objects have a larger surface-area-to-volume-ratio. It is for this reason that an elephant can walk across a muddy puddle comfortably where a mouse would inevitably get stuck. Using this logic, small dogs have a larger surface area exposed to the extremities of winter as compared to larger dogs. It makes sense, therefore, that a small dog would suffer more on a cold winter night and be afraid to walk outside.
The surface-area-to-volume-ratio not only affects the small dog’s sense receptors but also its ability to walk through a layer of snow. Normally, small dogs have smaller paws which pierce through the snow and sink in deeper. Walking through the snow becomes an uphill task.
5. Metabolism and a Whole Lot of Science
Pocket-sized canines have a lower fat content than their larger counterparts. Biology teaches that fat in a living organism acts as an insulator against cold temperatures. Some animals, like whales, have an extensive layer of fat that keeps them warm even when they are a million leagues beneath the ocean. Small dogs often have lower fat content. This means that their minute bodies are susceptible to extremely cold temperatures due to lack of sufficient insulation.
Moreover, small dogs are generally more active. Regular activity increases the metabolic activity of animals. Food is digested faster and energy used up even quicker. Decreased energy levels may affect the dog’s feedback mechanism; that is, the dog’s body will be slower in reacting to the physical conditions surrounding it.
Perhaps the origin of the “where to walk my dog” questions is the de-icing chemicals, salt, and ice shards on found on the sidewalks when you take the dog for a walk may cause irritation on the paws of dogs. Ice shards expose the dog more risk of cuts which may further be exposed to the toxic elements in de-icing chemicals. Further, the toxic chemicals may be ingested when the dog licks its paws.
Fear of winter is a real issue for the small dog. Cautious grooming, layering your dog with clothes or booties, and keeping your dog inside during the winter will ensure that your small dog is not exposed to the risks of cold temperatures.
Would you put booties on your Rottie to save them from the winter cold?
About the author: Rachel Hudson is a freelance writer and a traveler. Her main hobby is pet breeding as she has two cats herself, Ruby and Sparks. Rachel writes articles on various animal-related topics and hosts the website at https://allpetsexpert.com/.