Doggie tips for cold weather obviously isn’t anything you care about if you live in one of the southwestern states or Florida, but for the rest of the dog owners it’s important information to help keep their dog safe and warm all winter long.
If the weather outside is too cold for you, it’s also going to be too cold for your dog. If you live in a part of the country that has frigid winters, your dog should be kept indoors as much as possible during the cold weather months and never ever leave your dog alone in the car when the mercury drops below freezing.
During winter storms, city crews often put de-icers on sidewalks and parking areas to prevent people from slipping and falling. If a dog should get thirsty and decide to lap up some of the ice that has melted from the application of a de-icer, the water melt will be toxic and can cause sickness or possible death in a pet.
Prolonged exposure to dry, cold air and chilly rain, and the sleet and snow of winter can cause problems for a dog. Repeatedly coming out of the cold into dry heat can leave a dog with dry, itchy, flaking skin or severely chapped paws. Keeping your home humidified and drying your pet as soon as it comes out of the cold weather will keep it warm and comfortable.
If your weather is really cold and your dog has short hair, you can keep it warm by buying a pet sweater or coat to help your dog retain body heat and prevent its skin from getting too dry. It’s common to see small dogs dressed for the worst of winter, but size doesn’t matter when it comes to cold weather and your big dog will be just as comfortable in a warm and toasty sweater or coat.
When you take your dog for a walk in winter weather it’s also a good idea to have it wear winter booties with warm inner linings to help minimize contact with salt crystals which can be painful to a dog’s paws. It’s also the best way to keep your dog from stepping in poisonous anti-freeze and other chemicals used to melt ice, and inadvertently licking the toxic mix off its paws after returning home.
It’s not a good idea to give your dog frequent baths during cold winter weather. Bathing a dog too often removes essential oils from the skin and increases the chance its skin will become dry and flaky. If you must bathe your dog, use a moisturizing shampoo each time and dry the dog well.
Dogs burn more energy trying to stay warm in wintertime and this can result in dehydration. You can avoid this problem by feeding your dog just a little bit more food during cold weather (what dog is going to refuse extra food!) and be sure there is always fresh water for it to drink.
I hope these doggie tips for cold weather will help some of you pet owners who suffer through those long, cold winters.