Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter blast and your pets

With the Artic Blast headed our way and colder temperatures than normal across the country and some wind chills down to zero, it is so important to keep our family pets safe and warm.


Because animals rely on their human caregivers to keep them safe, especially in these harsh winter months, it is important to take a few extra steps to take care of the ones we love.

You might think that because dogs have fur that they are protected from the cold and harsh weather, but the fur has a tendency to gather ice or snowflakes that can make even the furriest dog cold. Dogs get cold and there are things that we can do to prevent serious health issues in the dead of winter.

Make sure that your dog has an adequate doghouse outside if you have to leave him out. Although it is not recommended to leave any pet outside in the cold elements, if they absolutely must be left outside please make sure there is a closed warm area for him to lay.


Keep your pets away from Antifreeze. Dogs love it but even in small amounts could be deadly.

Make sure you are checking your dog for frostbite and drying his fur when he enters back into the home. Ear tips are especially susceptible to frostbite on dogs and snow can get up in the footpad of your pet as well.

Get your dog winter apparel to help make them more comfortable. There are dog boots to protect the paws and even dog socks for those cold nights. Try a nice dog sweater or winter coat to make sure they are warm when going out into the freezing winter weather.

Trim the hair around your dog’s feet. You can even apply Vaseline or cooking oil to the bottom of their feet before going outside. The layer of oil or moisture barrier will prevent ice from sticking to their paws. You could try Snout Smoother for chapped ears and dry skin!

Try not to use salt on the sidewalks because it can be irritating to the footpad. If they do get salt on the foot are, wipe off as soon as the come in.

Watch your pet’s diet. Pets can get lazy during the winter months and can gain excessive weight. Find interactive dog toys to keep him busy and moving around.

Don’t ever leave your dog in a car, hot or cold. If you cannot take them in, leave them at home.

Keep your dog out of water during freezing weather- canine hypothermia can set in quickly. Keep him away from rivers, lakes and stream as the ice can break and they fall in.

It isn’t too hard to take extra precautions for our pets, especially in weather like this and by making some adjustments and buying a few extra pet accessories, he will be warm and toasty when going outside!
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