Most of you know that there are risks posed by warm weather and extreme heat for our pets, but do you know that cold weather can also pose a threat to your pets as well? Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe and healthy during the winter.
Walk When the Sun Shines
Be aware of your dog’s limitations. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia, so it is advisable to limit outdoor time in the winter. Try to have the longest walks of the day in the early afternoon or late morning, when the sun is strongest, and temperatures are warmer. When indoors, give your pet access to blankets, and be sure to turn on the heat when necessary.
Look out for Health Issues
Cold weather can worsen some health issues, such as arthritis. Pets with diabetes or heart disease may also have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature in extreme weather. Additionally, some places may use chemicals to defrost or prevent snow build up. When you return from walking your dog, make sure to wash their feet and legs to prevent them licking off any possible solutions that could make them sick.
If your dog has a short coat or dislikes the cold weather, consider buying him or her a sweater or a jacket. Some dogs also get cracked paws from cold weather. You can use lotion to help with dry paws. Coconut oil is a good natural moisturizer that can help keep your dog’s paws healthy. Some dog owners get booties to protect their dog’s feet during the winter months.
Food and Water
Keep an eye on your dog’s food and water. Dogs can dehydrate in the winter just as easily as in the summer, so make sure they always have access to enough water. Also, consider cutting back on their food. Most dogs will not burn as many calories in the winter due to being indoors and therefore being less active. Be attentive to your dogs activity level and adjust their calories accordingly.
Winter brings a risk of severe weather such as snowstorms and blizzards. Prepare an emergency kit that includes your pet. Make sure you have enough food, water, and medicine for your pet that will last for at least a week. Also keep the numbers of emergency veterinary services on hand.
Stay aware of the risks this winter to ensure that your dog stays safe and happy during the colder months.