Dogs and Cold Weather: Keeping Them Safe and Warm
Pet parents know that the combination of dogs and cold weather requires special attention if your pet is to stay safe and warm. Whether that means buying winter gear or knowing the signs of trouble, you should be extra vigilant during the winter months so your dog stays happy and healthy year-round.
Gear for Dogs and Cold Weather
Part of preparing for winter includes getting the right gear for dogs and cold weather. If your dog has short hair, consider buying a sweater or coat for walks and trips outside.
Cold temperatures and the rock salt used on roads can be harmful to your pet’s feet. Putting booties on their feet will help keep them warm and protected from the elements.
If you walk your pet when it’s dark outside, you should consider either adding a light to their collar or using a light-up leash. Both will alert others that a pet is in the area and that they should keep an eye out.
Healthy Habits for Dogs and Cold Weather
There are a few healthy habits you should practice when it comes to dogs and cold weather. Limit the amount of time your pet is outside when the temperatures drop. Leaving them outside for too long can have serious consequences, like frostbite.
Dry your pet off when they come in from the cold, since they can get a chill or sick just like people from staying wet and cold for too long. It’s also a good idea to remove any trapped snowballs between your dog’s toes and on their feet.
Make sure your dog’s bed is warm and dry for them when they come inside. This will keep drafts from getting to them, and they’ll be cozy and warm.
Know the Signs of Trouble for Dogs and Cold Weather
In addition to having the proper gear and healthy habits for dogs and cold weather, it’s important to know the signs of trouble should they present themselves. Changes in behavior are a big giveaway that something is wrong with your pet.
If your dog becomes more vocal, there may be something wrong or they may have just had enough and need to go inside. Another telltale sign is if your dog stops moving altogether; check their feet for snowballs, and if they’re shivering, bring them inside to warm up.
Some dogs also suffer from increased anxiety during the winter. Signs of this include whining, trying to climb your leg, looking for a place to hide and trying to return to the house once you’ve left it.
Dogs and cold weather can be a great combination if you take a few extra steps to prepare and educate yourself with the signs of trouble. Keep the aspects previously mentioned in mind and you’ll be able to have winter fun with your pet.