5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Winter
When we think of winter we think of staying warm and safe. And that’s extended to our family members—including our canine family. While some heavy fur breeds like Siberian Huskies and Saint Bernards thrive in cold weather, smaller dogs and those with short-hair need special care. Follow these simple winter safety tips to keep your dogs comfortable and safe all winter long!
Keep dogs indoors
There are many dogs who prefer to be outside, especially if they have a fenced in backyard. However, during the cold winter months, dogs should stay inside when they aren’t receiving their daily walks and exercise. An insulated coat and dog booties (if snow or sleet is on the ground) will keep them from being exposed to frostbite and chemicals when outside.
Dry skin problems
Just like humans, dog skin gets irritated, dry, and itchy in the winter. Make sure they have fresh water to keep skin hydrated and limit baths. Dry them completely if wet and brush them out daily. Clean dog’s paws after every excursion outside (if dog boots aren’t used). Petroleum jelly is an inexpensive and easy way to keep your dog’s paws moisturized from snow and ice.
Extra Water and Food
In the cold winter, your pet will burn more calories to keep warm. Think about increasing their food intake, especially if their winter walks are longer than normal. To make sure your dog isn’t overeating, check their ribs. You should be able to feel (but not see) them. If you normally use metal food and water bowls, switch to plastic in the winter. This will prevent your dog’s tongue from freezing to the metal.
Cold-weather car safety
Dogs love car rides! However, use sound judgement when taking them out. Your car can act like a refrigerator as it holds in the cold. Also, driving is riskier in rain and snow conditions, so you run the risk of a car accident with your dog in the car. When in doubt, leave your pet at home when you know you’ll have to leave them unattended in the car.
Lost dog winter woes
It may be tempting to let your dog off-leash to do their business outside or play fetch, but dogs are more likely to get lost in the winter than any other season. Snow can disguise familiar scents that would typically help them find their way home. Keep your dogs on leash at all times when outside, and make sure their collar tags and microchips have up-to-date contact information.
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This article contains general information. If you have any questions about a specific pet condition, please contact your veterinarian.