This post may contain affiliate links.
Snowpocalypse 2020 is almost here!!!
I used to hate the snow. It's wet, cold, and destroys all plans. Traffic sucks, our cities shut down, and my job doesn't offer paid snow days. On the bright side, I get an unscheduled staycation, but it soaks up my vacation bank, changing my summer plans.
And then we got dogs.
I still remember Rodrigo and Sydney's first experience with snow. Rodrigo pranced around outside and Sydney wasn't having it. It was cold, she wanted back in the house. Now, my dogs race outside when it's snowing. There's something about the snow that perks them up and makes us smile – even Sydney. And this year, Apollo, our Husky mix, is going to experience snow for the first time and we are so excited!!! I'm hoping that we get enough to trap us at home for a couple of days. Yeah, they'll be unpaid days for me, but it'll be worth it.
In the meantime, I have to prepare the dogs for the snow.
Clean Up the Dog Yard
Last year, we got hit with one snowstorm after the other and it was insane. The city shut down, my car wasn't going anywhere, and I was happily stuck at home with my family. A week later, everything had melted and I had seven days of poop to clean up – it nearly filled a bucket. Thank heavens I'm a raw feeder and my dogs' poop is small.
This morning, after I fed the dogs and before I showered and prepped for my weekly YouTube Live, I cleaned the dog yard. The snow isn't anticipated until tomorrow afternoon, so I'll do a quick clean up midday and then I'm done until the snow melts. Yes!
I'm good at keeping the freezers stocked with raw dog food, so to prepare for snow days, I hit up Costco for the humans in the home. Food, snacks, toilet paper, shoes (because they were so cute), and pajamas (because they were cute AND on sale). Now that I think about what I purchased at Costco today, I realize that I could have probably done better. Oh well. I can always hit the store tomorrow before the snow arrives.
Pet Safe, Non-Toxic Ice Blocker
When it snows in Seattle, there might be a couple of inches. I live 45 minutes (more, depending on traffic) north of Seattle and we tend to start with a couple of inches and when the snow stops, we're closer to a foot of snow. If this storm is similar to last year, then we'll need to de-ice the driveway if I hope to make it off of our property.
We received a gallon of PlaySAFE Ice Blocker as a gift to try on our property this winter. It's a non-toxic ice blocker to keep our walkways safe while being safe to use around pets, children, and plants. We usually just clear the driveway with shovels and put salt on areas that the dogs aren't allowed (closer to the road). With PlaySAFE Ice Blocker, we don't have to worry about salt irritating their paws or our dogs ingesting ingredients as they lick their paws.
We live on 5 acres and have a long driveway. The gallon bottle we received covers up to 2,000 square feet, however, I want it to last all winter and a gallon isn't enough to treat the entire driveway multiple times a season. So I treated the pathway to our front door instead, which I can repeat several times this winter. If the meteorologists are wrong about the snow, no worries, we can apply PlaySAFE Ice Blocker up to 48 hours before it starts snowing, which was a good thing because the snow was late. The chloride-free PlaySAFE Ice Blocker didn't block the snow, instead, it kept the snow from sticking so it was easy to shovel away. On other areas of our driveway, the snow compacted to ice, but on our walkway, it stayed soft and the walkway wasn't slippery when walking.
Ingredients: Potassium Acetate and Calcium Magnesium Acetate blend.
Get the Essential Oils Ready
As I stated above, our dogs LOVE snow and we have a rule that the dogs can play in the snow for 15-20 minutes at a time. Before it starts snowing, I'll wash and trim the hairs around Rodrigo's paws because they tend to capture snow and ice, which irritates his paws.
Starting today, I'm diffusing essential oils to produce calmness. I'm not doing this because any of my dogs have snow anxiety, I do it because we have five dogs and we're all going to be stuck at home for a few days. It gets a bit crazy around here and the essential oils will help us all out.
I have over 150 essential oils, but this year, I'm going to use a few that were formulated for dogs by Plant Therapy, their Pup and Pony, which includes:
- Confident K9 – a sweet, lush, floral aroma with subtle woodsy hints
- Happy Trails – zesty, sweet, citrus scent with a hint of spice
- Show Ready – vibrant and fresh slightly herbaceous scent
- Mans Best Friend Set – all three of the above in one cute box
They all smell amazing and I did the nose test and the dogs weren't bothered by the scent. This weekend, I'll be diffusing the Confident K9 until I run out and then I'll order some more because I LOVE IT!
Plant Therapy also sent us a paw balm and the dogs went nuts for it. It has a sweet lavender scent with earthy undertones. It's going to be hard for me not to use it on myself. I've already massaged Rodrigo's paws with it and it's going to come in handy during Snowpocalypse 2020. At the end of each snow day, I massage each of the dogs' paws with a balm (this year, Plant Therapy's paw balm) to soothe them from exposure to the cold and icy weather. The balm not only protects the paws, but it helps them heal. Yeah, I could also cover my dogs' paws with booties, but I don't have any and the idea of trying to put booties on five sets of paws makes me laugh because it would be an epic fail.
Dog Toys on Snow Days
Our dogs are huge fans of Chuckit! toys, however, getting balls lost in a foot of snow isn't the plan. So on snow days, we break out the Puller Rings for the dogs. But this year, Scout is injured and on rest, so we'll just be walking around in the snow while the dogs jump through the snow. It'll be a great workout for all of them so we'll have to keep an eye on Scout to make sure he doesn't reinjure his leg and Sydney, who has a past cruciate injury that is tender during the cold months and can bother her if she overdoes it outside.
If this were a normal year, these are the toys that are great for snow days:
These are the toys that don't get lost in the snow.
Food for Snow Days
If you've been following me for a while (or just glanced around a bit on my site), then you probably know that I feed my dogs a raw food diet. Everything they eat is cold because it comes out of the fridge. I don't think the dogs care about the temp, but I do, so over the holidays, I made a ton of batches of bone broth. I warm up a container and pour a few tablespoons over each dog's meal before serving. Again, I doubt that they care, but I feel like I making sure they have something warm in their tummy before we all race out to play in the snow.
And because we're going to be trapped in the house, I also have bully sticks on hand. This year, we only have the following treats:
- Bully Sticks, which last about 10-15 minutes. Longer with Zoey because she takes her time.
- Cod Skin Treats from The Honest Kitchen. I'm not a fan of THK since they sent a rude email to a friend of mine, but I have yet to find cod skin treats that I like. Most fish skin treats either break up really quickly or they're difficult for my dogs to chew. So, THK, you win this round.
- And our Real.Dog Subscription Box arrived this week and we'll break that open. We get the Chews Only subscription box and for less than $25/month, I have plenty of chews for five dogs. It's the best deal!
And that's it!
See, Nate, it doesn't ALWAYS rain in Seattle! Sometimes we have snow.