We know about looking after our dog in the hot weather, and protecting them from heatstroke and keeping them cool, but what about the other extreme? Cold weather conditions can also have an adverse effect on our pets and although some things seem obvious, there are many things that we may not even realize. Therefore, in this article today we will talk about some of the things we can do to protect our pets in rain, hail, and other cold weather conditions like snow.
All types of cold weather can give your dog itchy skin, flaky skin and a range of other conditions, so it is always better to make sure they are comfortable in the cold weather. There is a saying that if it’s too cold for you then it’s too cold for your dog, and although they do have a heavy thick coat, the cold can still penetrate deep, especially in winter. Having said that, if you have an outside dog, you should bring him inside on cold days and nights, dogs can freeze too and get hypothermia, frostbite and joint problems.
In addition, small dogs, and dogs with shorter hair are effected more by cold weather than large dogs with heavy coats, also older dogs are very much at risk in harsh weather conditions, as they could already be suffering from aging conditions like joint problems and such. That being said, in snow and ice, you can buy booties to put on their paws, and this may sound silly to some but it could be a wise move, as there are chemicals in salt that is put down to melt snow and ice. Keep in mind, that these chemicals can play havoc on your dogs paws, so booties on their paws is quite a sensible idea, as is a coat for their main body, to keep them warm when it’s below freezing.
You can purchase pet friendly ice to put down on sidewalks, but neighbors may not be so accommodating to your dog, especially if they do not own one. Therefore, always keep your dog on a leash during cold weather, especially if you take your dog for walks near water, as lakes and ponds can freeze over quickly, but the ice can be thin and dogs can fall through and drown. Moreover, check your furnaces at home before the cold months settle in to check for carbon monoxide as this is deadly to both humans and pets, and it’s not expensive to have a professional come out and check this once a year.
Always keep a good stock of food during the winter months, not just for you and your family, but for your pet as well, as winter storms can be sudden and it is always good to be prepared, you never know if the roads are going to be blocked for a few days. Having said that, during cold weather conditions, limit those daily walks to prevent hypothermia, and try not to let your dog eat snow, white or yellow, because this can cause stomach upsets and other issues. Having said that, don’t leave your dog inside the car for long periods, as just like in summer when a car can get overheated in a short space of time, during the winter a car can get extremely cold inside fast.
Finally, just like humans, pets can suffer more in the winter, especially older dogs that may have arthritis or other joint and muscle problems. If, you don’t have a joint supplement, you may consider giving one during the winter months as he will feel the pain more during the cold. Moreover, anti-freeze is a frequently used product during the winter, but it’s extremely poisonous to pets. Therefore, be aware of your dog at all times during harsh weather conditions. Furthermore, be sure to keep him warm with an extra blanket or bedding, keep him hydrated at all times, even in the winter as this is essential for his overall well being.