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Tips keeping your dog healthy and warm
The cold weather is upon us, and there are a number of steps to take to keep your dog healthy and warm this winter. As the nights get longer and the air crispier is hard to stay active while staying warm with the temperature dropping. Just like we’re affected by snow, ice sleet, and winds our dogs are too. Although these harsh winter months present challenges for us dog lovers, there’s a lot to prepare to keep your dog warm and healthy during the cold weather. Keep in mind that some dogs have thicker coats to withstand cold frigid temperatures while other dogs have thin coat that doesn’t keep them warm. Here is some way to keep your dog healthy and warm during the winter.
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1. Walking Dog in Winter
During the winter the night draws in earlier, the sun rises later and the air is crispy cold, it assures us that winter is here. If you live in a state that experiences brutal and harsh winter weather try to walk your dog in the late morning or early afternoon, sometimes temperatures are a little warmer. Once the cold temperatures are below 32°F, your dog will be very uncomfortable outside. Not all dogs can handle the arctic cold temperature, therefore every pet should be closely monitored in extreme temperatures especially older dogs, puppies, pregnant dogs, and dogs with compromised immune tend to be the most vulnerable.
How to Keep dogs warm in winter outside;
Consider keeping your dog warm with a winter coat, sweater, or hat. Dogs that are mostly indoor and once outside will need some time to adjust to freezing temperatures. Short walks will help dogs get used to the change. Dressing your dog for winter depends on how your dog tolerates certain garments, like a hat or boots. So if your dog doesn’t like hats, no worries as long as they are bundled with a winter coat or sweater they will be good. If your dog is a winter dog, no worries, they will be warm with their hair coat. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you in your winter coat, then it’s too cold for your dog, so don’t stay outside for a long period of time.
2. Paw Care in the Winter
Some dogs love snowy days, while others are not fond of it and prefer to be in the warmth of your home. In areas that often snow please be aware that city streets are coated with de-icing substances like salt or chemicals calcium chloride, to prevent slipping on sidewalks for pedestrians. Although these chemicals are safe for people to walk on the street they can be very harmful and dangerous for dogs. Salt isn’t toxic, but if ingested it may upset their stomach and can irritate their paws. Antifreeze on the ground might give your dog curiosity to taste, keep them away from wanting to try it, is very toxic and a deadly poison. Antifreeze color is either blue or green and if you see the color substance on sidewalks or driveways keep your dog away from it.
To protect your dog’s paws from the ground consider getting them winter dog shoes. If your dog doesn’t tolerate dog boots, just be sure to check his paws for signs of cold-weather injury or damage during and after walks. Wipe off their paws before your dog come inside the house and remove any salt or antifreeze residue. For those messy snow days, a Paw Cleaner or Cleanser is a perfect way to keep your furkid’s feet squeaky clean! This tool gently cleans paws, effectively removing dirt and germs.
Tip: Some people keep a bucket next to the door to rinse their dog’s feet as soon as they come in from the cold. Use warm water and make sure to gently reach spots between the toes and pads.
3. Warm Bedding
The goal is to make sure your puppy or dog is warm throughout the night, so a self-heating bed or blanket should do the trick. Some dogs love to sleep in the great outdoors or an enclosed but unheated area, consider a heated bed. Heated beds are great for outdoor but make sure you speak to his/her veterinary before investing in one. You know your dog and if he/she is an outdoor dog that loves the cold weather and can tolerate sleeping outdoors, know the risk and use your best judgment once the temperature falls 45°F.
4. Groom your dog during the winter
During the winter months, we humans need to give our skin some TLC due to the cold dry air that usually leaves our skin dry flaky. Our dogs also need TLC on their skin and coats so is very important to keep your dog clean and moisturized. Winter can be brutal on some dogs that it can cause their skin to dry and be flaky due to the dry and cold air. That’s why so important to stock up on skincare essentials and supplements to protect your dog coat and skin. For extra care on your dog’s skin consider adding skin and coat supplements to your dog’s food and soothe dry cracked paws with Oatmeal Paw Butter. If you notice that your dog’s ears, nose paws, or tail are dry and even cracking, apply coconut oil to the area.
5. Winter Weather Safety Reminder
In addition to the artic cold weather, winter can pose some dogs danger if not protected and kept warm. To protect your pet, keep in mind these tips;
a) It’s very important that once the weather starts getting cold, make sure your dog is hydrated and has enough food to eat.
b) If your dog is in an unheated place make sure you check their water bowl that it hasn’t frozen.
c) Please be aware that on really arctic cold days the risk of your dog getting frostbites or hypothermia, is a real thing. Therefore is very important that you know the warning signs and be on the lookout to know when to call the vet.
- Can’t stop trembling or shivering
- Seams weak or disoriented
- Whines and act anxious
- Has ice on his body
- Seeking for a place to burrow and hide
- Slows down or stop moving
- Has pain or pale areas
- Blisters or skin ulcers
- Skin discoloration
d) If your dog experience any of these signs after being out in the cold, wrap him in blankets and call your vet, and get guided by their instructions.
e) The No.#1 Rule never EVER leave your pet alone in the car in any weather. Not in the winter nor in summer, it can be dangerous during frigid low temperatures and in summer dogs can suffer heatstroke in hot temperatures in cars.
f) During the winter due to snow and ice many dogs become lost which can make it difficult for them to sniff their way home. Ensure that your dog has a microchip updated with your personal contact information—name, address, phone number, email, and Dog tag ID with the name, number of the pet owner.
g) We can never predict the weather if your region is on a winter storm/blizzard watch be sure to have an emergency stash of dog food, water, treats, and pet medication on hand for your dog. Sometimes when it’s a bad storm many roads are closed and stores.
So here you have it, for all my dog lovers’ parents, by following these tips for how to keep your dog healthy and warm during the winter, you can ensure your pup will be healthy, cozy, and warm. Have fun this winter and cuddling with your dog, is a great way to stay warm. What did you do to keep your dog warm during the winter? Love to hear all about it, leave a comment below.