The snow and ice that come with cold weather are not just a pain for you, they're also a bit of a pain for your furry buddy. You dress warmly to go outside, but just because your dog has fur doesn't mean that he isn't going to get cold, too. See below for some cold weather tips for your pet pooch.
1. Make An Appointment With The Vet
Before the cold weather hits, you should take your dog into a veterinarian, like those at Parkview Animal Hospital, for a checkup. If your dog's paw pads are in bad shape, such as cracked or sore, the cold weather will only worsen them. Talk to the vet if you notice any problems like this or any issues with your dog's hips, legs or skin.
2. Limit Outside Time
Limit the time your dog spends outside when the temperature dips, especially when it's below freezing. If need be, take your dog out on a leash so he'll do his business and come right back inside. If you notice him lifting his paws because they're too cold, be sure to hurry your pooch inside. Your dog can get frostbite and hypothermia just like a human can. If you usually take your dog on a walk, begin taking shorter walks until the temperature warms again.
3. Dress For The Weather
You dress yourself warmly for cold temperatures, so why not your dog? If your pooch insists on being outside, dress him in warm layers. Look at your local pet store for a coat, sweater or booties to keep your pet warm. Also remember that your dog's fur helps to keep him warm, so when grooming, be sure not to cut out too much of his fur. You may not like the extra shedding in your home, but that "winter coat" is going to help protect your dog's skin.
4. Keep An Eye Out For Poisons And Hazards
Winter brings new poisons and hazards for your dog. Road salt and antifreeze are both poisonous for your dog. Be sure to wipe your dog's paws after coming in from outside in case he has either of these on his paws. Other poisonous hazards include poinsettia, which is toxic for both dogs and cats according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Holiday meals can also be hazardous. Avoid giving your pooch leftovers such as chocolate, nuts or fat and trimmings, which can contain small bones that can splinter. Gift ribbon and wrap, string lights, tinsel and ornaments are all hazards if swallowed by your pet. Keep an eye on your dog around these items.
Winter can be harsh for humans, but it's also harsh for your fuzzy buddy. Keep this in mind when sending him outside this winter and be sure to keep an extra eye on him during the holidays.