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Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Pup During Winter Months

Karie Reynolds

Posted on January 25 2018

 

Did you know that exposure to the cold can be just as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans? Here are a few tips to help ensure your pup is warm and safe this winter.

Protect their Paws

Sidewalks and driveways are typically peppered with various chemicals in the winter, such as antifreeze, salt, and ice melting agents. These chemicals can accumulate in the cracks and crevices in dogs’ paws and cause irritation and abrasion. Furthermore, a dog can unintentionally ingest the chemicals when they later lick their paws.

Protect your pup’s feet by getting them a set of booties (and be sure to take plenty of photos of how cute they look in them!). If you can’t get your dog to wear booties, then thoroughly wipe down their paws with a damp cloth after their walks.

Check for Frostbite

Your pup’s ear tips, footpads, nose, and tail run the greatest risk of contracting frostbite. After each walk, be sure to keep an eye on these areas to check for the tell tale signs: skin that stays pale and cold after being indoors, or any redness and swelling. If you suspect frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Though many dogs love the chance to bite into a pile of fresh snow, it isn’t a suitable alternative to drinking water. Dogs can dehydrate just as easily in the winter as they can during the sweltering days of summer. Be sure their water bowls are topped up at all times, and regularly check outdoor bowls for any ice that’s accumulated on top.

Cozy Up Their Living Space

Be sure to provide your dog with a warm, cozy bed to snuggle up in so they don’t have to sleep on a cold floor. Avoid placing the bed on concrete or tile flooring, and keep it a good distance away from fireplaces or space heaters. Dogs tend to seek heat sources in the winter, but they are in danger of snuggling up too close and getting burned. Ditch the space heaters, and be sure that your fireplace is pet-proof.

If your pup usually spends a lot of time outdoors and your concerned about giving him too much freedom in your home, keep your dog contained to one level with a stair gate.

Dress them for the Weather

If your dog isn’t protected by a naturally thick fur coat, be sure to test the temperature and dress them accordingly. If it’s too cold outside for you to stand at the door without a coat, it is probably too cold for your dog. Invest in a good winter coat or sweater that reaches from their neck to the base of their tail and also covers their belly.

In addition, be aware of your dog’s behavior outside. If you notice that your dog is shivering, whining, exhibiting anxiety, or looking for places to burrow, it’s time to bring them inside to warm up.

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