While the weather in many areas of the country has already felt frightful, the winter season officially begins December 21. As the temperatures drop, keep these winter tips in mind to protect your pet from the cold:
- Heaters are Not the Next Best Thing
Even though your dog may often seek heat during harsh cold winters, avoid space heaters by any chance! Installing a baseboard radiator will avoid the risk of your dog getting burnt!
Fireplaces are not the best option either, as you must really make sure you have a pet-proof system and your dog safe!
- Moisturizing is Key
Just as it happens with humans, your dog’s skin may get dry and flaky because of the dry and cold weather. To avoid the burden, try adding skin and coat supplement to your dog’s food, fish and coconut oil to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. If you notice that your dog’s ears, paws or tail are dry and even cracking, apply coconut oil on the area topically.
- Do Not Overfeed!
Do not think you should feed your dog to create layers of fat that would protect him from the cold! It is not an option, unless your dog lives outdoors during this cold weather! Look after your dog’s activity level, and then adjust the calorie intake accordingly. High-quality whole foods and meat, preferably raw, will provide a healthy coat and good energy levels in the winter!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Dehydration may happen in winter, just the same! Eating snow is not the best substitute for drinking fresh water. Make sure you keep changing your dog’s water and the dog has access to it the whole time, especially if you keep your dog outdoors. Break the ice that may form on top of the bowl outdoors!
- Groom Your Pet
To keep your dog properly insulated – maintain a clean and well-groomed coat! Surely, after bathing your dog, you should dry its fur thoroughly before taking a walk outside!
- Paw Care at any Cost
Dogs also suffer from cracked pads! If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair growing between his pads so that ice does not build-up in-between. Winter salt that is found on city sidewalks can burn your dog’s pads and is also toxic. To prevent unnecessary trouble, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove the salt! Do not let your dog lick his paws before cleaning! You may also use dog booties if you notice your dog showing any signs of discomfort when outside for a walk!
- Snow Removing
Snow removing is a great idea, especially if piled up near fences that your dog may climb and escape! Pile the snow away from fences if you are going to clear the snow in your yard! As temperatures rise and the sun comes out, the snow and ice accumulated on rooftops may slide to hurt your dog, so think about that, too!
- Pick Where Your Dog Plays
It may be exciting for your dog to play in the snow for long hours, but remind yourself not to get caught up in the moment and lose track of time! Your dog needs frequent comebacks for water and for warming! If you are playing with your dog at an unknown location, do not let your dog go too far away from you – as the dog may get lost and even worse, walk on unsafe surfaces like frozen lakes and ponds!
- No Exposure to Toxins
Antifreeze, a very present toxin, especially during winter may be fatal for your dog to lick or drink! Keep your dog away from the garage or the driveway where antifreeze or other such harmful chemicals may be encountered!
- Do Not Leave Your Dog Alone in the Car
Leaving the car running brings danger and risks for your unattended dog in the car, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are going to run errands, leave your dog at home instead!
Last but not least, winter cuddles with your canine friend are the best way to keep everybody warm! Be sure to protect your furry friends from the cold this winter to keep them happy and healthy!
Contact us if you have any questions about winter safety tips for your pets.