The temperatures outside are dipping and it’s time to break out the mittens, gloves, hats, down jackets and boots. Humans have the ability to pile on the cold weather gear to stay warm. But what about our pets - especially our canine pals that need to go outside for walks and do their business? They may have fur, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t impacted by freezing conditions.
Make sure your four-legged friends are warm and well-cared for when the mercury dips. Remember, if you are cold, it’s likely your pooch is too.
Although your dog has fur, it can still feel the effects of extreme cold. Your pet's toes, nose, and ears are even more vulnerable to chilly temps. And, if your dog’s coat gets wet, the fur loses much of its insulating ability.
Your dog may look adorable in a coat and boots, but not all dogs take well to being dressed up. Also, putting your pet in cold weather gear and then sending them out into the back yard unsupervised isn’t advised as they risk getting caught on something or trying to get out of the clothing and harming themselves.
Your pups paws are also at risk in the cold. Ice and cold snow can cause frostbite and salt spread on sidewalk can burn their pads. If you opt for protective booties for your dog, be sure they fit snuggly but not too tight. If your dog isn’t donning booties, be sure to thoroughly wipe off their paws before entering the house. You can also use a canine cream to insure there is no cracking and relieve dryness on their paws.
Puppies as well as senior dogs shouldn't be outside no matter how well-dressed because they just don't have the fat, metabolism, or the full fur coat they need to stay warm when temperatures plunge. When it's cold or wet out, it's vital to keep younger, older, and sick pets indoors.
Fend off Frostbite
Despite their thick fur, dogs exposed to extreme low temperatures run the possibility of freezing their extremities like the tips of their ears and tail. You can prevent frostbite by dressing your dog and minimizing exposure to cold weather.
Frostbite is indicated by the skin becoming very pale and attaining a bluish/white hue due to a lack of blood flow. Ice may also form around the affected area. When the body part is warmed and blood flow returns, the skin becomes red and there is swelling accompanied with peeling.
As the areas thaw, they will redden. If they become dark instead, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Antifreeze is deadly. Antifreeze is thick, very sweet, and can be irresistible to some pets. And it doesn't take lapping up much antifreeze to kill an animal. Antifreeze can be deadly to a pet if the pet is not treated aggressively soon after ingesting it. Make sure your car is not leaking antifreeze and watch your dog carefully on walks to insure they are not lapping up antifreeze in neighbors driveways.
If you have a yerd, keep a small area of the yard shoveled and encourage your pooch to use this spot to do their business. Also, stay by the door and let your pet back in the house immediately when they are done with their potty break.
More FoodLike people, dogs need more calories to keep their bodies warm. So, feel free to give your pooch a little more food and be sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water to stay hydrated - especially since it can be very dry outdoors if you constantly have the heat cranked and this can result in dry, itchy skin.