The winter months are finally upon us and the temperatures are in the frigid range over much of the country. With in-climate weather on the rise in many states it is apparent that Old Man Winter is up to his old tricks once again. Dogs and cold weather can mix but it is important to keep a few guidelines in mind.
We are all taking out the winter wardrobe and suiting up before leaving our cozy heated homes and it is very important to remember that our pets need protection from the cold as well. This guide can give you a few brief concepts to think about to insure your dogs nose is the only part of them that is below body temperature this season.
What keeps us warm may be dangerous. Even within the confines of a warm familiar home, pets will look for a heat source and generally stick close to it. Keep this in mind and take a minute to pet-proof your residence for the winter months by checking to see that fireplaces, electric heaters, and parked vehicle engines are safe from your furry friends looking for a heated place to rest their heads.
That "natural coat" only protects so much. A good rule of thumb is that if you are starting to feel very cold and uncomfortable outdoors in cold weather then your pet probably is too. Even if your pet sports some classy winter apparel, do not let them be over exposed to the winter weather outside. Dogs and cold weather can be friends up to a certain point. If your pet shows signs that they are becoming less active or they seem to be looking for a place to curl up or burrow, it may be time to take them inside an let them warm up.
Calories keep pets warm. Your pet must use more energy in order to keep their body temperature up while outside in the elements. Keeping your pet well fed on protein rich foods will give them more calories to burn and to help them their time outside. It is also very important to make sure that your pet stays properly hydrated by checking their water sources to see if they are frozen over. Dogs and cold weather can be managed if you pets stomach is properly prepared.
Tags can be a life-saver with "snow blind" pets. Putting an ID tag on your pet's collar is always a good idea. Even more so during the winter season, as statistically more dogs are lost at this time of year. This is mainly due to the fact that pets can more easily lose their scent in the snow and cold rain, making it hard to find their way home. It is advisable to make sure that your pet ID tags are accurate and if you don't have one get a great custom dog tag from Dog Tag Art.
Abundant salt can cause problems. This time of year it is typical to see sidewalks and roads covered in rock salt to aid in melting and give more traction. This salt can, with repeated exposure, lead to cracked skin and in severe cases bleeding on your precious pet's paws. After a romp outdoors in the cold, try to clean all your pet's paw pads with warm water and then make sure they are completely dry. You can also check you pet's whiskers for any salty residue or ice which can make them uncomfortable.
At lot of these practices require little time and effort to accomplish or get in the habit of doing. These tips can help you and your family protect your pet against bitter winter conditions and will aid in their health and comfort this season. Dogs and cold weather can be a great combination if handled properly.
Do you have tips for making sure dogs and cold weather get along this season? Let us know below.