I never liked the snow before we adopted dogs. It was a pretty for a few hours and then turned brown, destroyed traffic, and grown ups don’t always get Snow Days. But the dogs are in heaven in the cold weather, but there are cold weather hazards that dog owners need to be aware of and prepared for as we embrace the winter season.
Louise Blake was kind enough to submit a guest post sharing how we can protect our dogs in the cold weather.
Well, the cold weather has well and truly arrived and everyone in the family has definitely noticed!
While special considerations need to be made for children and adults during the dark and chilly winter months, extra care needs to be taken over our lovable canine companions too.
Here are some top tips to help guarantee that your dog is protected this winter.
Protecting Dogs in the Cold Weather
Being in the depths of the cold and dark winter period has a habit of wearing people down and sapping them of energy, and dogs are exactly the same. Make sure to bear the following in mind:
1. Ice and snow actually severely hamper a dogs sense of smell so be careful not to let them wander too far in case they manage to lose themselves. Be very careful if you let them off the leash at all, and steer clear of doing it all around icy patches. If you have seen your dog slipping around on laminated floors you will understand the logic behind this!
2. Don’t excessively groom your pooch or trim its hair. How would you like it if someone shaved your head and then sent you into the wintry outdoors with no hat? It is important that your dog naturally builds up its winter coat each year.
3. After you get back from a walk around make sure you clean your dog’s paws and check for any cuts or abrasions. Make sure to trim the hair in between your pooch’s toes so that they don’t trap excess snow (or you can buy them a pair of snow booties!)
4. Always insure there is enough (non-frozen) water for them at all times, especially if they are spending a lot of time inside a heated house. You should also bear in mind that dogs, like us, use more calories keeping warm in winter, so make sure to provide a little more food if your dog is spending a lot of time outside.
5. As well as making sure they have enough food and water, you should also provide some games and toys for your pup to keep them busy while staying inside. Not only is it bad if being inside leads to a serious decline in physical activity, but it could also lead to increased stress and aggravation.
6. Some dogs can deal with cold better than others, and some smaller breeds could need jumpers and coats when they are being taken for a walk. However, make sure they don’t wear these while inside unless it is really, really cold, as they could overheat.
The symptoms of doggy hypothermia
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, your dog may still get sick. Hypothermia is the most common winter ailment for dogs, so it is important that you can spot the symptoms quickly so you can get your pup to the vet as soon as possible.
Symptoms of doggy hypothermia are:
- Lots of shivering and whining
- Low body temperature, especially around the groin area
- Low pulse rate
- Shallow breathing
- Your dog is unresponsive, sluggish or usually slow
These tips should help you make sure that you pooch doesn’t have a miserable winter season and lives to frolic through another summer in full health.
Do you have any advice for protecting your pets from the cold at this time of year?
Bio: Louise Blake is having enough trouble trying to protect her son from the cold, let alone her faithful pooch, Harley! When not spending time with her young family, or trying to get the stubborn and uncooperative pooch to ingest some dog worming tablets, Louise likes to write blogs for a range of companies that includes Petmeds.