What do you do when your dogs measure less than a foot at the shoulders and more than 8 inches of snow has fallen overnight… and it is still falling?. Here we break out the beach towels…

My dogs are Lhasa Apsos, a Tibetan breed. Although they are far from where they originated, they fit the description of ‘snow mountain dog’ very well. While they don’t care for heat and humidty, detest the rain and even worse, puddles, snow on the other hand is a different matter.

As our weather turns colder, they become watchful, looking up and sniffing the air testing for possible snow. If they think it is coming there is a little bounce in their step in anticipation of a little fun. Once it gets here, they revel in it.

Gizzy & Krystal...snow dogs..

Good dog owners that we are, we diligently go out and shovel paths for them and clear a large area in the dog yard for them. And as always, they will run out and ignore the cleared areas, jumping into it, plowing through it, eating it, rolling in it and looking for the highest pile of snow and sometimes engaging in a
doggy version of King Of The Mountain…

Dafni and Karma playing in the snow

Dafni and Karma playing in the snow

While they are out, we keep an eye on them… if they are in full coat or have not had the hair on their paws trimmed short, they can accumulate so much snow on their coat that it acts as great insulation and so mucn on their paw pads to act as snowshoes. But, if it isn’t dry snow which can be shaken off easily, it will all get too heavy and they will sink in the snow and have trouble getting free and just lay there in their insulated coats, paws tucked under till they thaw out.. Meanwhile accumulating even more snow.

How much snow can a 10 – 20 pound Lhasa accumlate? A lot! And it is almost impossible to get it out before bringing them in. They don’t shake it out cause it doesn’t bother them. Our solution is to use beach towels. Our mud room/back hall is right off the deck. Just before the dogs come in, I’ll throw a bunch of beach towels into the dryer to warm them up. Then I try to knock off any snow clumps or icicles from the dogs coats. When they come in, each dog gets a warm towel spread on the floor and as they roll in it, the towel absorbs water… avoiding many puddles all over the floors…

Gizzy rolling in a towel

Gizzy rolling in a towel

The only other solution I’ve found that works well for quick thawing with no puddles is to put a dog into a wire bottomed crate near a source of warm air or use a blow dryer to dry them, neither of which I like to do, particularly with multiple dogs.

Schools are closed, travel adversaries are out… nice day to stay home, enjoy our first heavy snowfall and watch the snow puppies romp in the snow….