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Winter Safety Dog Edition

by Alvin Nguyen

You might be ready for winter, but is your dog ready for winter? Most people assume because their furry friends have fur, that they can withstand the cold better than us. This is not always true. If it is too cold for you outside without a jacket, then your dog will need a jacket/sweater. (Dogs like Huskies or longer hair breed do not need coats.)

Keep in mind that sweaters do not prevent frostbite in the ears or extremities. Make sure you do not stay outside for too long. Here are some things to keep in mind for your furry friend.

Watch the paws. Winter can be harsh on your dog’s paws. Trim the fur that grows between the pads to prevent snow building up. Occasionally check for ice between toes and make sure there are no cracks on the paws. Red paws and cracks are a sign of dryness or irritation. Which causes discomfort for your dog’s foot while walking on cold surfaces. Driveway salt is toxic to dogs and stimulates a burning sensation.

You can prevent this by buying booties, regularly applying petroleum jelly or coconut oil to your dog’s furry feet.

Wipe his/her paws frequently to keep the paws clean from salt and other debrief

Dogs and cars.  We hear a lot about leaving your dog in the car during scorching hot summers. But did you know that leaving your dog in the car during the winter time is just as dangerous?

During winter, cars prevent heat retention. Creating a freezer for your dog. If left long enough in the cold for too long. Your dog can freeze to death.

Prevent skin irritation. Generally, there is less moisture in the air as temperature drops. Your dog’s skin may become drier or flaky. Bathe them less often in the winter time to maintain the natural oils that keeps the skin moist. On days that you do bathe them. Make sure you use a moisturizing shampoo.

Do not let dogs get too close to heaters. If you keep your thermostat lower during the winter time your dog might go searching for heat sources. Avoid using space heaters or pet proof the system to prevent your dog from burning itself. Set up a cozy bed with tons of blankets in his favorite spot to prevent your furry friend from wandering too close to the fireplace or other heating elements.

Make water available. Due to the lack of moisture in the air your dog can get dehydrated just as easily as the summer. Make sure you are always encouraging your pup to drink up and leave a bowl of water laying around. Just because your dog eats snow doesn’t mean he is getting enough water.

Cold weather increases chances of illness. We all like to believe that our dog is invincible. Limit outside activity to prevent your dog from catching a cold. If you think it is too cold, chances are that your dog feels the same way. Cold weather will enhance current medical conditions, such as arthritis. Make sure your dog gets joint supplements to ease joint pain and exercise your dog indoors more than outdoors.

Winter can be a lot of fun for you and your dog. This guide will help your dog be more comfortable during the colder seasons. Take photos/videos of your dog playing in the snow. Just make sure you are not out there too long.

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