If you live in an area where the temperature drops to near or below freezing, here are some tips for getting through the winter season with your pup.
Dogs are just as susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia as humans. While some breeds, such as huskies and malamutes, have long thick coats to shelter them from the cold, many smaller and short-haired dogs will get cold quickly. Dogs’ feet, ears and tails are especially vulnerable to frostbite, as they are the first areas to lose circulation. You can help prevent frostbite and hypothermia by limiting time outside, especially when your dog is wet, and ensuring your dog has a warm place to sleep. You can also invest in a winter coat and boots.
In addition to melting snow and ice, road salts can burn your dog’s paws. Making it worse, dogs often respond to the discomfort by licking their injured paws, leading them to ingest often toxic anti-freezing agents. To avoid this, buy a set of booties and make sure you clean your dog’s belly after walks. If your dog doesn’t tolerate booties, just wash your pup’s paws after each walk. Also, be sure to look for pet friendly salts to use at your own home.
Snow & Ice
If you have a dog with longer hair, you probably know the struggle of snow and ice caking up between their paws. This can be very uncomfortable for your pup. You can avoid this problem by trimming the hair around their pads and towel drying them when they come in the house. Also, avoid frozen ponds and lakes due to the risk that your dog will fall through.
During the winter, we often crank up the heat, creating dry air that dries out human and dog skin & paws alike. You might notice your dog scratching and biting certain dry areas. To counteract this, ensure your dog is drinking enough water. If your dog’s skin is still dry, check out some dog-specific balms and moisturizers.