Throughout the winter season, many dogs feel the bitter cold as much as their owners do. It is important for us to help the animals stay warm and safe as the bitter months approach us.
Things You Can Do
- Make sure your dog is well groomed. Avoid trimming, shaving, or cutting your dog’s hair because their fur coat is their main source of warmth in the winter. Comb out knots to get rid of matting, which can lead to less efficient insulation of the dog. Additionally, keep the hair around paw pads well trimmed. This will help prevent ice and snow from clumping between foot pads.
- Keep winter toxins locked away. Anti-freeze has a sweet taste to dogs, and they will lick it if it becomes available to them. However, it only takes a few teaspoons of this lethal toxin to kill an animal.
- Check for frostbite. Check ear tips and tail tips for a white, red, or grey color, as well as if they are cold, hard, and dry. If so, wrap extremities in blankets to gradually warm them, and go to the vet as soon as possible.
- Provide shelter for outdoor dogs. Make sure the dog has access to insulated shelter and warm bedding.
- Use dog clothing in certain situations. Dog clothing is a good option for small dogs, old dogs, or dogs without long hair. If you see your dog shivering, chances are it’s a good time to wrap them in a sweater.
- Use booties to protect paws on snow and salt. Paws can get irritated from the chemicals found in road salt, as well as irritated from balled up ice that didn’t melt in between the paw pads.
- Bathe indoors. Make sure to use warm water in baths as well.
- Clear snow and ice to help small dogs eliminate outside. It may be hard for smaller animals to get to the area that they normally do to go to the bathroom.
- Keep dogs on a leash around bodies of water. Pets that run free may accidentally find themselves in dangerous situations and fall into ponds or lakes. They can also become disoriented in a snowy environment and get lost without the sight of familiar landmarks.
- Help elderly pets on stairs and ice. Slips and falls are more common when ice is present.
- Limit the length of walks in cold temperatures. Dogs should not spend more than 10-15 minutes out in freezing climates, so take shorter walks if possible.
Do you have any tips to help the animals in the winter months? Let us know! For more information about making sure your dog will have a perfectly groomed coat for the winter, check out http://earthbath.com/dog/the-importance-of-winter-grooming-follow-our-four-tips/.