The weather in New England can be fickle, but one thing is for sure, in the winter, you’re sure to get more than a few days of freezing temperatures! While humans can add layers to insulate themselves from the blistering cold, our pets are more limited in terms of outerwear (and opposable thumbs). As a dog-owner, it’s up to you to know how to keep your pet safe throughout our coldest season.
Limits: Like people, a dog’s cold tolerance can vary from dog to dog based on breed, coat, body fat stores, activity levels and overall health. Take note of your dog’s ability to manage the cold and adjust accordingly. Short-haired pets and those lacking a double coat are more likely to feel cold faster than long-haired pets. Additionally, short-legged pets are closer to the ground and therefore more inclined to become wet and feel the cold faster.
Keep in mind, elderly dogs and puppies will have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and are therefore more prone to slipping and falling. As with humans, it’s best to “tread lightly” with both the young and old.
Check your dog’s paws for cold weather related injuries such as chapped and cracked paw pads. You should clip the hairs between your dog’s pads to reduce the chance of snow accumulation along the sole of his feet. We recommend a product called Musher’s Secret (http://musherssecret.net/) as a preventative salve as well as for palliative care. Finally, be sure to keep his nails trimmed to avoid snagging on ice and uneven terrain.
Your dog’s fur can accumulate de-icers, and anti-freeze residue, both of which are toxic if ingested. Because most dogs will groom themselves by licking, make sure to wipe down your dog’s feet, belly, and legs once inside.
Be prepared for severe winter weather, power outages or blizzards by having a first aid kit around and an emergency plan that includes your pets.
Dogs kept inside for long periods may stay safe and comfortable, but they can also go a little “stir-crazy”. To combat your dog’s winter blues, you may want to think about doggy daycare. At Dingo’s Dogsitting we have 2000 square feet of safe, indoor, heated play space for your dog to run off his winter blues. Winter in New England can be cold and dreary, but your dog’s social life doesn’t have to be!
Wag more. Bark less. Contact Dingo’s Dogsitting today for more information!