It's getting colder by the day, but in many parts of the world, the coldest is yet to come. As we change out our wardrobes and get our cars ready for winter, it is important to remember your dog! There are plenty of winter hazards out there. Here are some cold weather tips to help keep your dog safe and warm this winter:
- Do not leave your dog outside unsupervised.
- Provide a heated bed and shelter for dogs who cannot come indoors.
- Get sweaters or jackets for little dogs or dogs with little to no hair.
- Watch those feet! If your dog will tolerate it, consider foot protection booties. This can keep your dog safe from objects hidden by the snow, plus prevent slipping on ice and irritated paw pads from salt on surfaces.
- When walking your dog near ice, use extra caution and keep your dog close by to avoid slipping. Do not allow your dog to run across frozen bodies of water - he could fall into icy water if the ice is too thin!
- If you use a fireplace, keep a safety guard on the front to keep your dog away from the flames and soot. Do not leave a fire unattended.
- If your dog is excessively shaking or shivering, get him back to warm shelter as soon as possible.
- Avoid letting your dog eat snow - keep fresh room temperature water available at all times.
- Beware antifreeze! It is highly toxic! Keep your eyes on your dog at all times - and keep antifreeze out of reach.
- Keep food and water in a place where they will not freeze - preferably inside!
For more tips, check out the cold weather safety article. Be sure to contact your vet if any signs of illness appear. Also, have a look at the cold weather checklist from the Veterinary Medicine guide. Have fun and stay toasty warm. Now is the time when you are happy to hear that your dog's normal temperature is a few degrees higher than yours, so snuggle up! Are you and your family all set for winter?
Photo © Susan D'Angelo