The owners of Insta-famous French bulldog Stanley (@thatpupstanley) share how they keep their prized pup safe and healthy during the cold winter months.
What practices and tools do you use to make sure Stanley stays safe in fall and winter?
When walking him in cooler months, we always make sure to have a portable water bowl for him and water readily available after the walk. We don’t walk him excessively, usually just a short walk with definite stops in parks to let him smell other dogs and just do dog things, like find every stick and chew it to death. We also put a light sweatshirt or vest on him if it’s particularly cold. Sometimes in the fall we think it’s cold and put him in a warm outfit, only to realize when we get out of the car that the sun decided to come out and it’s too warm for it. So, you just have to be cognizant of the temperature and change plans accordingly.
In the winter months, something we take seriously is salt on the roads and sidewalks in our area. It can be really irritating and unsafe for dogs. To help with this, we use a dog-friendly salt to de-ice our driveway at our country house, and we use a product called Musher’s Secret, which provides protection from “salt burn” caused by ice melting chemicals. We use that mostly in Manhattan where he’s walking on sidewalks frequently.
Has Stanley ever had issues with hot spots? If so, what treatments or preventative methods have you used?
Stanley has had a few minor hot spot issues. We are constantly checking him and the folds of his skin for irritation because we know that Frenchies are prone to skin problems. When we see red spots starting or that he’s itching an area often, we use a product from the Natural Dog Company called Skin Soother. Since that product seems to work and is completely safe for him, we have their whole line of dog balms.
Does Stanley ever get ice balls in his paws? What measures do you take to prevent that?
Stanley loves the snow! Luckily, he has never had issues with getting ice balls in his paws. We don’t really let him stay in the snow for an extended period of time, so maybe that’s the reason. We let him run around for a bit, and then he usually wants to come inside shortly after his zoomies are done. For a little loaf of bread like him, it isn’t that long. As a preventive measure, we also use Musher’s Secret again, which prevents the buildup of snow and ice on dog paws.
Does Stanley have a microchip or wear a GPS collar? How do you make sure he stays safe when you let him outside?
Stanley is microchipped. We split our time between country and city life in New York. When we are in Manhattan, he’s always on a leash with a harness during his walks. When we are upstate in the country, we let him out in the yard, which isn’t fenced in, and for that reason, we never leave him outside alone. He is always closely supervised while he’s outside there. We have wild animals in the area (bears, bobcats, etc.) which we have never seen near the house, but we always want to make sure he’s safe and protected from those things. We let him out mostly during the daylight hours, but with the cooler months coming and the light leaving the sky earlier, there are times when he’s outside at night. He’s very quick about his bathroom rituals and is always within our sight, so it has never been an issue potentially losing him outside when it’s dark.