15 Tips for SAFE Snowshoeing with Dog PLUS Checklist

What to Look Out For: Basics for Choosing the Right Snowshoe, Your Route, Preparation…

Hello winter mountain enthusiasts from the Salzkammergut (Austrian Alps)!

Are you facing the exciting challenge of exploring the snowy beauty of our beloved mountain landscape with your faithful four-legged companion?

Snowshoeing with your dog – a fantastic idea, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Let me share some tips from my experience to make your winter tour with your furry friend an unforgettable adventure.

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Preparation for Snowshoeing with Dog

Is Your Dog Winter-Ready?

Before you embark on your snowshoeing adventure with your dog, make sure that your fluffy hiking companion is prepared for winter activities. Not every dog is a snow professional, so ensuring your companion’s well-being is a top priority.

Tips for Snowshoeing with Your Dog

Here are 3 tips to make sure your dog is winter-ready:

1. Snowshoeing with Dog: Check His Paws and Claws

Winter conditions can be tough on your dog’s paws. Before your tour, inspect the paw pads for any injuries or cracks. Trim the claws to prevent snagging in the snow.

Use a special paw balm to protect against icy surfaces and salt, applying it before and during your tour if necessary.

2. Weather Protection for Your Canine Companion

While some dogs love the snow, others may benefit from a weather-resistant coat. Consider equipping your dog with a waterproof coat, especially for snowshoeing in winter. Ensure the coat fits comfortably and allows for sufficient movement.

3. Regular Breaks for Water (and Treats)

Even if your dog is energetic, he needs regular breaks and, most importantly, water in winter. Use these breaks to provide necessary rest and reward him with energy-rich snacks.

Snowshoeing with Your Dog

Gear and equipment reviews for mountain tours and hikes

Reviews of currently used and proven equipment: Mountain, hiking, and outdoor gear for mountain wanderers with or without a dog.

Snowshoeing with Dog: Essential Tips for Your Safety

Snowshoes are not just stylish accessories for winter adventures; they play a crucial role in your safety, comfort, and the success of your snowshoeing adventure.

After testing four different models and sharing my experiences in the MAG, I can offer you some tips:

4. Prioritize Safety – Choose the Right Size

Selecting the correct snowshoe size is crucial for both your safety and your dog’s. A shoe that is too small may sink in deep snow, while one that is too large can compromise stability. Ensure that the snowshoes are designed to support your weight.

5. Opt for the Right Bindings for Comfort and Grip

The bindings of the snowshoes are your direct contact with the equipment. They should not only be comfortable but also easy to adjust. Models with ratchet bindings provide a secure fit, crucial when trekking with your dog. The Paragon® binding of the MSR Lightning Ascent is a clear recommendation.

6. Essential Climbing Aid – Comfort Factor

Quality snowshoe models feature a climbing aid, significantly improving comfort on steep ascents. This feature allows you to fix the heel, reducing effort. Some MSR models even offer a snowshoe extension for additional lift.

7. Claws or Teeth? Choose the Right Traction

The type of traction on your snowshoes is crucial for grip on various surfaces. Models with claws or teeth offer better traction, especially on icy surfaces. Test different variations to find the best fit for your preferred winter paths.

8. Inform Yourself, Educate, Prepare

Detailed experiences/tests with various snowshoe models, including Crossblades, can be found here.

The tests cover safety aspects of snowshoeing with a dog (or without a dog), comfort, and other essential factors. Before deciding on snowshoes, it’s worthwhile to read my experiences for the best choice for your winter adventures.

Gear and equipment reviews for mountain tours and hikes

Reviews of currently used and proven equipment: Mountain, hiking, and outdoor gear for mountain wanderers with or without a dog.

5 More Important Tips for a Smooth Snowshoeing with Dog

The route you choose is crucial for a successful snowshoe adventure with your dog. Ensure that the path is not too challenging, especially if your four-legged friend is not accustomed to extreme conditions.

Plan breaks for your dog to rest and/or play in the snow.

A happy dog means a satisfied hiker. Right?

9. Special Snowshoe Trails or Not?

Some regions already have marked snowshoe trails. These trails are invaluable, leading you through the most beautiful corners of the winter landscape. Look for the appropriate signs for a carefree snowshoe adventure.

These trails are perfect for us, as they not only ensure we are on the right paths but also show us the most scenic spots.

10. Respect Nature, Respect Wildlife

During winter, animals in the mountains are particularly sensitive to disturbances. Stick to marked paths and avoid disturbing wildlife. Keep your dog on a leash, especially if you encounter wildlife tracks.

This not only protects nature but also ensures your safety.

11. Weather Update – Always a Good Idea

Before you set out on your winter adventure, check the weather forecast. Sudden changes in weather conditions can be challenging, especially in mountainous regions. Dress appropriately, carry extra layers, and ensure your dog is also well-protected.

12. Emergency Kit – Better Safe Than Sorry

Even on short tours, it’s wise to carry a small emergency kit. Basic first aid supplies, a multitool, and a small survival kit can be a lifesaver in unexpected situations.

Don’t forget a map and compass – technology may fail, but these classics never do.

Share Your Experiences

I’d love to hear about your Snowshoeing with Dog adventures with your furry friend. Share your experiences, tips, and recommendations in the comments. Let’s build a community of winter mountain enthusiasts who explore the snowy trails together.

Happy snowshoeing with your dog!

I hope this text aligns well with your requirements. If you need any adjustments or have specific points you’d like to emphasize, please let me know!

Gear and equipment reviews for mountain tours and hikes

Reviews of currently used and proven equipment: Mountain, hiking, and outdoor gear for mountain wanderers with or without a dog.

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If you’re seeking insights into mountain tours and hiking, you’ll discover valuable tips, personal experiences, and a wealth of knowledge

About Author /

I'm from Austria (St. Gilgen am Wolfgangsee, Salzkammergut) and exploring the Alps with my dog, Ronja, a Maltipoo, testing mountain tours and hikes with a dog. Additionally, we assess equipment for both dogs and mountain enthusiasts for suitability and safety in the mountains. (Note: Since my English is sufficiently good, the originally German test report has been translated into English by an AI.)

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