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Winter Weather and Your Dog
Winter weather can be as dangerous for our small dogs as it can be for us. Ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy.
Your first stop to get ready for colder weather with your dog should be the vet’s office. They can make sure your petite four-legged buddy hasn’t acquired any new health issues, or can help you plan for cold weather effects on current health conditions.
Frostbite and hypothermia are real concerns for dogs when outside for too long. Watch for signs of shivering, weak pulse, shallow breathing, or lethargy. Signs of frostbite include discolored skin, blisters, or swelling. If you notice any of these signs or any other issues, get your dog inside right away and get treatment if symptoms worsen.
Wipe your dog down or wash off his legs after walks. Chemicals, salt, and de-icers can stick to your dog’s paws, legs, and belly and can be ingested if your dog decides to clean himself.
It's also not a good idea to leave your dog in the car when you go out. The car’s temperature can drop rapidly in cold weather and pose a danger to your dog, just as the car can overheat in the summer.
At home, give your dog some comfortable bed/ blanket options to be able to regulate himself when warm or cold. They fluctuate between being warm and cool just like we do. If you use a pet sitter while you’re on vacation, be sure to instruct them accordingly.
During the winter season, try to limit bathing your dog. Washing can increase dryness and itchiness on your dog’s skin and can turn into irritating rashes. When you do wash them, use a moisturizing wash and rinse and make sure your dog is completely dry before venturing outside.
Your dog’s paws will be more prone to cracking and bleeding during cold weather. Rubbing a paw protectant such as petroleum jelly on paw pads before and after walks can cut back on irritation.
Keep your home humidified to make up for the colder, drier air of winter. This could make your dog more comfortable and lessen dry skin problems.
Preparing for the cold weather and taking steps to keep your dog safe, will ensure a healthy, happy winter season for your best friend.
Authored By: Cindy Aldridge