In my last blog, I talked about 2 cold weather conditions to be aware of frostbite and hypothermia. I want to share with you now 10 Tips for you to care for your dog this winter.
- Check the Temperature
If it’s freezing outdoors and your dog is not blessed with thick fur that can keep them naturally warm you may want to invest in a coat or sweater for them. Some think it’s silly but if you see them shivering then you know its time for one. The coats will keep their bodies warm but not their ears or paws so keep a close eye on them when outdoors.
- Limit Outdoor Time in Frigid Weather
If you love to spend lots of time outdoors and bundle up that’s fine but your pet does not share the same love or be able to tolerate it for a long time. If they love the outdoors but not the cold, then limit their time and take them out for more breaks but shorter time periods. Always supervise them if they are out.
- Avoid Overfeeding
With the colder temperatures and less time outdoors, some dogs may get lazier. If they are less active, they will need fewer calories. Be attentive to your dog’s activity and adjust their calorie intake based on that.
- Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in the winter as they can in the summer. If you have the fireplace on or the heat cranked up it may dehydrate them so keep their water bowls full. If they are outdoors and eat snow that doesn’t replace the need for fresh water.
- Groom Your Dog
Dogs need well groom coats to keep them warm and insulated. If your dog spends lots of time outdoors this is especially important. After bathing your dog make sure you dry them thoroughly before they go outdoors again.
- Pedicure Paws
With the winter can bring dry, cracked pads. Their fur between their feet should be trimmed as it can gather snow and ice can build up creating discomfort. The sidewalks may have winter salt on them that can burn their pads plus it can be toxic so after walks rinse or wipe their paws to remove any salt to avoid them licking their paws.
- Avoid Ponds and Lakes
Snow and ice can cover ponds and lakes and dogs may want to venture out not knowing the danger. Ensure you steer clear of frozen ponds and lakes to avoid those unsafe surfaces.
- Special Senior Care
Cold weather can aggravate certain medical conditions in dogs especially arthritis. They still need walks but be mindful of those icy surfaces and give them time at home to recoup in a comfy, warm place.
- Avoid Exposure to Antifreeze
With icy windshields comes antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes sweet and dogs want to lick or drink it. Avoid this at all cost as it is very toxic and just a small amount can be fatal. Keep it stored far away from where your dog can get it.
- Snow Removal
Snow can be fun but it can also be dangerous. When the snow piles up in the backyard it may provide an escape route for your dog to get out and explore. Watch for snow or ice to accumulate on the roof as it may accumulate then fall and injure a dog.
Winter should be a fun and festive time if you enjoy the colder temperatures. Some dogs do love it so just make sure they stay safe and are cared for during this flurry time.