Keep Your Dog Safe This Winter
As the temperature trends down, and we begin to bundle up, it’s vital to the health and happiness of your pet that you go the extra mile to keep them safe. Follow these tips to make sure your pup enjoys the winter wonderland!
1. Wipe their Paws
Be sure to keep your dog’s paws clean and dry after walks outside. The ice can create tiny cuts in their pawpads that could get infected. Salt and other ice melts that are on the sidewalks can also cause infections and make your dog severely ill if they absorb too much through their paws. If you can, cover your dog’s feet with booties before going on walks for extra protection!
2. Go to Doggy Daycare
Since dogs don’t want to be outside as much in the winter (and neither do their humans!) doggy daycare is a great option to ensure your pup is still getting enough exercise and socialization. Woof’s indoor yards still provide plenty of space to run and play without all the chill and snow!
3. Take Care of their Skin
The dry winter air and extreme temperature changes (such as coming into a warm home after a walk) can dry out your pup’s skin. After coming inside, towel dry your pet’s coat and skin right away, and try to keep your home humidified. Be cautious of over-bathing your pets in the winter because it can remove essential oils that keep their skin moisturized. Ask your groomer at Woof’s what shampoos are best to moisturize your dog’s skin when they come in for their appointment!
4. Feed them a Little Extra
Staying warm burns extra calories during the winter, so it’s ok to give your dog a little extra fuel. Make sure your pup constantly has access to clean, fresh water as well. Staying well hydrated helps prevent dry, flaky skin, and can help dogs regulate their body temperature.
5. Know their Limits
Different breeds, ages, sizes, and energy levels of dogs have different tolerances for cold weather. Some bigger breeds with thicker fur, like huskies, will love to romp around in the snow and play, while smaller breeds with thin coats may not want to go outside at all. Even within breeds some dogs will not like to be outside as much as others. If your pup paws at the door, tugs on their lead, or otherwise acts like they are ready to go inside, be sure to take them in to warm up.
6. Collar and Chip them
Because the winter air and snow hide familiar scents and sights for your pet, if they become lost, they may have a harder time finding their way back to you. Be sure that your name and phone number are easily seen by anyone who may find your wandering fur baby.
7. Beware of Antifreeze
Antifreeze is toxic for dogs and can cause them to be very sick or pass away very quickly, but the sweet smell appeals to pups. Always clean up antifreeze spills immediately. It’s helpful to know the signs of antifreeze poisoning. If your dog starts drooling, vomiting, having seizures, is excessively thirsty, panting lethargic or acting “drunk”, they may have been exposed to antifreeze and you should take them to your vet immediately.
8. Make Potty Breaks Easier
When it’s cold outside, dogs may not want to go outside to go potty. You can help by keeping a section of grass outside of your house clear of snow and ice for them to stand on. This way your dog doesn’t have to walk through deep snow to go potty. Stay by the door or go out with your pooch so you can let them back inside as soon as they are ready. You can also consider making an indoor potty if your pup really resists going outside by using a pee pad or pee patch.
9. Avoid Space Heaters
While small space heaters are great to warm up a chilly room, our pups love getting as close to warm things as possible during the winter. If a dog sits too close to a space heater for too long they could be burned. Dogs can also be caught up in the cords, and cause harm. Be sure your pup has a safe, warm place to sleep all winter where you don’t have to monitor them.
10. Stay Inside
Remember – if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. It’s more than OK to spend some of the cold winter months cuddled up with your fur pal on the couch with some hot cocoa and a movie!