In many ways, dogs have proved to be more than pets to humans. They are the perfect companion, and many people regard them as part of the family. As a result, it is essential to go to great lengths to care for your dogs.
The winter season comes with its own peculiarities and a series of health issues. It affects man and animals, making it essential to protect your dog and keep them healthy. As the temperatures drop to alarmingly low levels and the snow starts to fall, it is necessary to make some adjustments in your pet’s routine and care to keep your pup happy, safe, and in good health.
Your dog’s thick fur will not protect him from the harsh weather, neither will the hairy coat. Therefore, the pet owner’s responsibility lies in going the extra mile in keeping your pet healthy. Frostbite and excessive low temperatures could be dangerous to your pet. However, you can be proactive and make adequate preparations to prepare them for the winter.
This article will explore several safety measures with which you can care for your dog and reduce the effect of winter on her.
1. Buy Protective Wears for Them
Your dog’s fur and purrs might not do much justice in protecting them from the harsh weather. They might need an extra level of protection to protect them from the extremities of the winter period. This is especially true of senior dogs, the ones with short hair and that are petite. Extra protection in the form of a coat can give them the needed warmth, keeping them comfortable and safe.
Excessively low temperatures can make their paws susceptible to cracking, frostbite, and drying. Also, your dogs could be exposed to poisonous chemicals like ethylene glycol, which was initially meant to serve as antifreeze, road salts, and coolants. It could cause severe irritations for them. As a result, snow dog boots can be beneficial, especially for people residing in areas prone to excessive snow. It will help them keep warm and comfy during the snow.
2. Protect their Paws
Even though dogs generally have a tough paw, tougher than humans, they are not immune from the weather. When you take them for a walk in the winter, it exposes them to frostbite, making it essential to protect their paws. Ice is also dangerous as it can cut through their paws.
Sidewalks in the city are often protected with salts and deicers in the winter. However, this could be harmful to their paws. For dogs that do not like to use booties, make sure to wash their feet after every walk. Also, remove any detritus between their paws to prevent the risk of deicers and other chemicals.
You can also rub paw balm or any petroleum-based jelly on their paws. This balm will serve as a protective shield to prevent deicers, snow, and salt from getting between their toes. It will also keep the feet hydrated, thereby preventing cracks.
3. Protect them from Antifreeze
Many people use Antifreeze to prevent the water in your vehicle’s engine from freezing. Many states also use it on their walkways to reduce snow. Unfortunately, antifreeze comes with a pleasant taste that attracts your dog. Sadly, it is poisonous such that a teaspoon is all it takes to make your dog’s kidney fail.
The responsibility is on you to ensure that your dog does not have access to Antifreeze. Some common signs of antifreeze poison are vomiting, drooling, seizures, etc. Make sure to contact your vet immediately should they exhibit these signs.
4. Groom and Moisturize their Feet
You need to be extra diligent with taking care of your dog during the winter. Your pup is prone to dehydration which increases the tendency of having cracked paws. It will make walking difficult and painful for her. Excessive exposure to snow and ice also makes her susceptible to frostbite.
This calls for frequent moisturizing and grooming of their paws to get rid of all discomfort. Also, try and trim their nails at intervals since long nails can break easily, which could be painful while running through the snow. Besides, it will make it difficult for ice balls to attach themselves to their feet.
5. Limit their time Outdoors
At excessively low temperatures, humans and animals are prone to frostbite. This happens when the temperature is so low that blood migrates to the body’s core to maintain warmth. Almost all parts of your dog are susceptible to frostbite.
You can avoid this by limiting their exposure to the outdoors. All walks should be short and with essential protective clothing. Sick, old, and young animals should always be indoors during the winter to avoid hypothermia.
While indoors, you can stimulate them with various games and activities to keep them in good spirits and avoid boredom. Engage them with hide and seek or any activity to expend some of their energy.
As long as you are willing to go the extra mile to help your dog, he can easily survive the winter and the atrocities that come with it. However, do not forget that dogs are also prone to harsh weather the same way humans are. This makes it essential to go the extra mile in special care and make life comfortable for her.
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