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Alaska, Alaska Living, Alaska Photography, Teddy George

November 17, 2015


Unless you’re one of the lucky ones,

you know that it doesn’t matter if you’re in Alaska,NYC, DC, Boston, VA or North Dakota…winter can be…NOT. FUN. But at the same time, winter can also be a fun time for playing in the snow with your family…including your little fur babies. Here, the Alaskan winters can be a little….brutal and like you, I want my fur baby to have fun, but to be safe. Although this may be Teddy’s first winter, I grew up with dogs and I definitely learned a few things along the way. I talked a little bit about how we can survive our winters in Alaska on the blog here and now it’s all about the fur babies!! Here are a few of my some helpful tips for caring for your dogs and cats during the super cold months:

7. Never ever EVER leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather.

A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing your baby to freeze to death. I don’t have cats, but I’ve read on the ASPCA’s website that if you have cats, it is best to keep them indoors. If you know you have outdoor cats in your neighborhood, make sure to bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine since cats will find any spot for shelter, including under your car.

6.  Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter.

Teddy has a super curly coat. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a fellow naturalista. Ethan and I decided not to cut his coat too short, not only because we just LOOOOOOVE his curly hair, but because we both know a longer coat will provide more warmth. If you own a short-haired breed, like a Chihuahua or a Boston Terrier, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. If you’re married or dating, your significant other may not like it, but hey…I’ve always believed fashion should also be functional. 🙂

Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Wedding PhotographerSachel Samone Photography0599
5. If your pet is elderly and arthritic, please, PLEASE be careful.

The cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender, causing them to become more awkward than usual. Stay directly below these pets when they are climbing stairs or jumping onto furniture; consider modifying their environment to make it easier for them to get around. The goal is to ensure they are always comfortable and never ever in pain.

4. The Bare Naked Truth

If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone (even if it is faux mink) keep you warm against the elements? Yea…..No. Well, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection for your pet during winter, either. If you absolutely must leave them outside for a significant length of time, like for them to use the restroom, make sure they have a warm, have solid shelter against the wind with thick bedding and plenty of non-frozen water. I’ve learned that leaving pets outside is not recommended during the winter….even if they do have a thick coat. When you’re outside with your fur babies during the winter, you can watch them for signs of discomfort with the cold: they may whine, shiver, seem anxious, slow down or stop moving, or start to look for warm places to burrow.

3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice.

If you live somewhere where the winters are brutal, like Alaska, chances are there are ponds and lakes around you are….well, beautiful in the summer…not so much in the winter. When it comes to a pet, this is something that means quite a bit. If you live near a pond or lake, be very cautious about letting your rambunctious dog off the leash. Because Teddy is still young and has a tendency to just run off and play Dora the Explorer, we really have to watch him. I’d literally LOSE my mind if something to happen to him. Animals can easily fall through the ice and it is very difficult for them to escape on their own, so definitely to keep your eye on your babies!!

anchorage, alaska | teddy george the bichpoo | sachel samone photography

2. Check your dogs’ paws and ears daily during the winter.

ESPECIALLY after coming in from a walk or play time outdoors. Let me be the first to tell you…frostbite is REAL in Alaska. I’ve seen people go for a run and come back inside with ice on their eyebrows. Sometimes ice will ball up between a dog’s toes when they play in the snow, making walking difficult. If your dog starts limping while outside, be sure to check for ice balls right away. If your dog comes in from playing outdoors with red or bleeding paw pads, treat them immediately to avoid infection. With that being said, if you’re going to take your baby out for a walk, try dog booties.  Believe it or not, they’re actually recommended for all dogs going outside during the winter. Booties can be purchased in nearly all pet stores in Alaska and if you’re not in Alaska, try your local pet store. And don’t forget to wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice and definitely make sure they warm up!!Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Wedding PhotographerSachel Samone Photography

And finally…and this is one I can DEFINTELY RELATE to with Teddy being a puppy and all….Remember..

1.Puppies do NOT tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and they may be difficult to housebreak during the winter!!

We’re still in the potty-training phase with our pup, so BELIEVE me, I know how frustrating it can be to train your pup to NOT go inside the house. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may want to consider paper-training them inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

I hope this little bit of information helps! This sweet handsome boy has completely changed my life…(even as I write this blog, he can’t stop kissing me!!) and I will do anything to keep him safe! If you’re pet-owner, I know you’re a pet lover and you feel EXACTLY the same way!  Cheers to you and cheers to the fur-babies!! 🙂


Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Wedding PhotographerSachel Samone Photography0605

Sachel Samone Photography | Alaska Glamour and Elopement Photographer | www.sachelsamone.com