Preparing your Havanese for Winter Weather

As you can see most Havanese can deal with the snow. Some Havanese doesn’t object to a winter walk, sledging with the kids or joining the snowball fight. However, there are some things that you can do to maximize your Havanese dog’s comfort and ensure their safety while enduring the winter months. Here is a list of things to consider.

  •  Puppy cut: Make sure the groomer gives your dog a longer puppy cut.A couple of months with a longer coat shouldn’t increase your grooming time that much. Dog’s coats naturally provide insulation from both heat and cold.
  • Paw pads: Ask the groomer to not cut the hair too short between the pads. The hair should not be too long either, but long enough to provide a barrier between ice and snow. Those who live in the city may find that the cold concrete and salt can be pretty harsh on their pups paws and may want to consider using a natural paw wax such as Musher’s Secret.
  • Coat: Consider a coat. I know what some of you may be thinking, So I’ll just say this, imagine having to crawl on the cold sidewalk when it’s 20 degrees in the morning.You do not have to dress your dog up every day, have a coat on hand for those really cold days.
  • Keep track: When letting your dog out during really cold weather, supervise him. We just open our door, so it helps to put our stove timer on, just to be sure they are not out longer than they need to be. Our mornings can get pretty busy and it’s good to have a reminder in the midsts of it.
  • Crack the car window: Dogs are not necessarily safer in a parked car because it is winter.If you must leave your dog unattended in the car, even for a short period of time, crack the window or open the sunroof. 
  • Dry flaky Skin: Dogs like people tend to develop dry itchy skin during the winter months. A simple humidifier can greatly reduce the dry air in your home. You can also add salmon oil to your dog’s food.For more immediate relief you can give your pet a conditioning bath. Place 1/4 cup of conditioner into a plastic storage container or your sink and fill 1/2 way with water, mix. Place your Havanese in this bin and using a cup pour the conditioner mixture slowly over them for as long as you like 5 mins is good, rinse and wrap in a warm towel. If possible allow him to air dry. For this specifically, I recommend using a high-quality canine conditioner. I like Vellus this is more expensive but it is tried and true product that works very well. 
  • If you are not comfortable bathing your dog, provide the product for your groomer and see if they are willing to do it for you.
  • Snowball dog: After a romp in the snow, your Havanese may have collected a bunch of snowballs on his coat (like Jett pictured above)The best way to remove these is to fill the bathtub with a little warm water and pour it over him. You can dry him using a blow dryer on warm setting.
  • Poisonous winter plants: It’s best to just avoid having these plants in your home but if your pet travels with you, there is the chance you could encounter a situation where your dog is exposed to toxic plants.Here is a list.
  • We had two situations where we were unsure if what our dog was exposed to was toxic (one puppy ate a house plant and the other, a mushroom from the yard) The Veterinarian told me to wait it out, but I was alarmed and did not want to wait for symptoms!
  • So I immediately administered 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting and up came the leaves of the plant and the mushroom before the toxins could circulate in their bloodstream and damage their organs.  
  • Snow removal: Make it a rule to keep your Havanese inside or secured when snow blowing or plowing.
  • Make a plan: think about what you would do in the event that you lost power and had to leave your home. Be sure to have copies of your dog’s License and/or rabies. Id tags and a crate readily available. Where would you go and will your dog be welcome?