The winter season is here and we all know that brings lower temperatures and lots of snow! Cold weather safety is an important topic to discuss. Some of our dogs love the colder temperatures, while others don’t. There are some safety measures that need to be taken into consideration this winter to ensure our pets can enjoy this winter accident-free.
Protect Your Dogs Paws From Ice, Snow and Chemicals
The first thing you need to think of when it comes to cold weather safety for your dogs is protecting their paws. The cold winter season can cause their paw pads to dry out and crack, similar to how human skin would without the proper moisture and protection. Your dog’s paw pads are exposed to everything they walk on. Over time, they will become dry and rough. If you notice that this starts to happen, you can apply a paw-protecting wax to your dogs’ paws before going outside. The paw wax will act as a barrier between the snow, ice, or salts sprinkled down on the ground. When you come back from walking your dog, be sure to wipe their paws with a cloth and warm water to get rid of any ice melt chemicals that may be lurking on their paws. If you notice that your dog’s dry, cracked paws don’t heal over time, make an appointment with your vet to have it checked out.
Get Your Pup Warm Clothing
We use our jackets as an extra layer of protection from the cold and it is no different for our pets. Giving your dog a light jacket during the cold weather can help them maintain their body heat and prevent problems such as hypothermia. This is especially important if your dog has a short coat. Their skin is more greatly exposed to the chilly winds. Here are some breeds that have short coats and may need that extra layer of protection this winter:
- Bull Terrier
- Boston Terrier
You may own a dog who loves the cold such as an Alaskan Malamute or a Bernese Mountain Dog. You can definitely get away with not giving them a coat since these breeds are biologically built to withstand the cold. If your dog is new to wearing sweaters or jackets, you might want to build their tolerance up to it a little bit. Wearing clothing is very unnatural for dogs, and some may find it uncomfortable. Always introduce the sweaters or jackets with a treat or something else your dog loves to create those positive associations. The last thing you want is to bring your dog outside without a jacket and they end up freezing their tail off! When you return home, make sure your pup is nice and dry. There is a good chance that some snow or rain can still come into contact with them and seep through their coats.
Never Leave Your Pet Alone In a Car
Some of us love to bring our pets with us everywhere we go. The reality is that dogs are not allowed in the grocery store, or the mall so ideally they should be kept at home and not left in your car. Even if your car is nice and warm when you’re driving, the minute you turn it off, the car will immediately start to cool down. Cars hold in cold air, similar to a refrigerator. Leaving your pet in the car for too long will cause their body temperature to decrease which can lead to hypothermia, a life-threatening condition. If you have to run errands for a couple of hours, contact us, and arrange a dog walk for your pup! This will help take the guilt away from you for having to leave your pet at home.
When Grooming Your Pet, Don’t Shave Them Down In The Winter
If your dog is of the long hair variety, don’t completely shave them down like you normally would in the spring and summer. Your dog needs some extra hair to keep their bodies warm during the lower temperatures. You can have them trimmed down enough so that ice balls don’t cling to his coat, and any potential de-icing chemicals lying around in puddles don’t irritate your dogs’ skin. You may also want to skip a bath at your dogs’ next grooming appointment. Bathing your dog too often can remove the natural oils produced in their skin and consequently dry it out. You can also check out your local pet care store for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. After a bath, you can apply virgin coconut oil to your dog’s coat for some extra shine! Cold weather safety is really important to protect your pets in Delaware this season. With just a couple of changes, you can be ready to brave the cold with your four-legged friends!
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