Winter Safety Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy & Happy
With winter in full force, you and your pup might be more inclined to cuddle up on the couch than tackle the elements. Just like humans, dogs are affected by the cold, dry weather winter brings. Whether your dog could romp in the snow all afternoon or barely wants to put a paw outside, there are some things you can do to keep your pup safe. Here are tips to help you to keep your dog happy and healthy this winter:
1. Try giving them a warm coat...
Yes, your mom or dad's favorite wintertime refrain works just as well for your dog. If they don’t have a thick coat of fur to protect them, putting a snug sweater or jacket on your dog before they head out on their walk will help them to keep warm. This is especially important for breeds with short, thin coats and thin body frames, like greyhounds and whippets. A coat is also a good idea for toy and small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, and Yorkies.
2. Be judicious with bathtime...
You may have a regular frequency for baths, depending on how smelly/dirty your furry friend gets. However, excessive baths can actually dry out your dog’s skin during the cold winter months. Don't go overboard with bathing your dog during winter. If you do notice dry skin on your dog (especially prominent in elderly dogs) during these months, apply moisturizer.
3. Take a "paws" to look at your dog's feet...
There are more things on the ground than just snow and ice. The deicers and rock salt that to help eliminate the snow and slush can be harmful to your pup’s paws. Be sure to give a quick wipe to their paws after a walk on the sidewalk or a road so you can get those chemicals off. It’s also a good idea to keep any fur around their paws trimmed down so that ice balls don’t form between their pads and toes. Another great option is to buy your dog some BOOTS!
4. Limit your dog’s with outdoor time...
Your dog may love to play in the snow, but they're still at risk for hypothermia and illness if they're out there for too long. Dogs can suffer from frostbite, especially on their delicate ears and tail tips. Make sure you tightly regulate how often they're out in the cold and the elements.
5. Make sure they have plenty of water...
Dogs can just as easily become dehydrated in the wintertime as they can in the summer. Make sure that their water bowl is constantly full (and ensure that the wintertime bowl is plastic, so they don't run the risk of having their tongues freeze to metal).
Yet there are other things to consider when winterizing your dog, and this involves winterizing your home as well.
For example, while you may stock up on antifreeze to keep your car from freezing up, or while you may have a sack of de-icer for your driveway, you do not want to have these items accessible to your canine companion.
Dogs simply love the smell and taste of antifreeze, yet it is a deadly poison to them that has already cost many a dog’s life. Make sure that your car is not leaking antifreeze, and when you replenish the antifreeze in your car’s engine, be certain to clean up any spills, no matter how small they might be.
So go ahead and enjoy the winter with your pup! With a little bit of preparation and some simple safety precautions, you should have a great time together!
- Holly W