Winter Care for Your Dog
As winter grows longer and the temperature continues to drop, it's important to pay close attention to your dog's well-being. Find out how you can care for your pet during the colder days.
1. Check your dog's paws frequently.
Winter can take quite a toll on our skin, but did you know that dogs can also suffer from dry cracked paws? In extreme weather, consider using dog booties to protect their paws when they're treading on exposed areas where rock salt may be present. Rock salt can harm your dog's paw pads and can cause extreme discomfort. This can also be very fatal if they try to lick it off.
2. Bring comfort to the home.
Just as we like to stay warm and cozy under a pile of blankets, it's no different for your four-legged pal. Don't make them sleep on cold tile or uncarpeted areas of your home. Prepare a comfortable environment with blankets or snug bedding that will help insure their warmth.
3. Watch the fireplace.
When lighting up the fireplace for a little extra heat, make sure to never leave the fireplace unattended. We should all know that fire and fur are not a solid combination – anything can change from one second to the next.
4. Bundle up!
Imagine wearing a tank top shirt with shorts in below freezing weather – the thought of that is outright ridiculous. Many believe that dogs are able to warm themselves up because of their fur. Unfortunately, their fur is not the greatest insulator. Unless you have an Arctic breed that have fur coats designed to keep them warmer in the winter months, this belief is completely false. Lack of proper attire can increase their risk of hypothermia or frostbite.
5. Keep your dog hydrated.
Trying to stay warm will take up a lot of your pet's energy. Dehydration is a common occurrence amidst wintertime, for this reason, it's important to make sure there is always fresh water. According to Dr. Louise Murray of the ASPCA, "humidity is lower during the winter, and this can contribute to dehydration."
The bitter cold and chilling winds can cause discomfort for your dog. When outside, be mindful of your pet's actions and limit your time outdoors. Chances are if it's cold for you, it's probably too cold for them too.
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