Posted Jan 5, 2018 in Seasonal
Just as the winter and cold weather can make us sick and uncomfortable, it can do the same to our dogs. While our dogs can have small discomforts like dry paws or dry skin, they also can suffer from more serious issues. From chemicals on the ground to simply getting too cold, we have to be careful and watchful of our dogs in the winter. Here are some tips on how to keep your dogs safe, happy, and healthy in these cold times.
When your dog is going from outside in the cold into the dry heat of your home, their skin can get itchy and flaky from the change in the climate repeatedly. Try to keep your home as humid as you can. When your dog comes in from being outside, dry their whole body, feet, and toes off with a towel. This will help keep the skin healthy and not get dried out from the heat.
A dog’s coat is essentially their own personal sweater that keeps them warm! So a longer coat keeps them warm. To make sure they keep this warmth, don’t shave their coat down to the skin. Trim long haired dogs, but don’t shave too much. If you have a short haired dog that doesn’t have a warm coat, consider buying a doggie coat or sweater. Many smaller, short haired dogs need this stay warm in cold temps.
If there is snow or ice on the ground, try massaging a balm on your pup’s paws before going for a walk. This will act as a barrier to salt and chemicals on the ground. You can also get some doggie booties for even more protection. Booties and balms also protect from irritation and cracked/red paws. If you don’t use booties or a balm, be sure to wash and dry off their paws (and belly) after walks to remove all these dangerous items. Many chemicals in ice melts can be dangerous to dogs, as well as just everything out on the ground. Be sure to clean their paws so your dog doesn’t lick anything and ingest it.
Just as our skin can get really dried out in the winter if we bathe too much, this also happens to our dogs! Try to bathe your dog less frequently in the winter, basically as rarely as you can. Frequent baths can strip essentials oils and can cause flaky skin. If your dog happens to roll around in some mud or gets really smelly, use a moisturizing shampoo.
Your dog may love to sleep on the cold floor in the summer months. But when it gets cold, make sure your dog has a warm place to sleep, off the floor. Be sure this spot is also not near any drafts or cold windows. Give your dog a warm blanket, cozy dog bed, or soft pillow to keep them warm!
The rule of thumb when it comes to winter is if you’re too cold, then your dog is probably too cold too. Take your dog for appropriate length walks, but then be sure to keep them inside. Many breeds can not handle extreme cold (but some can!) Do not leave your dog outdoors overnight or for long periods of time, as this can be very dangerous and can result in death. Do not leave your car in the cold weather either. Stay warm and stay safe!
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