It’s important to adjust your dog care routine when winter weather rolls around. Even canines with thick fur aren’t immune to all the changes the season brings.
Dog parents should not only take precautions to keep their four-legged kiddos warm, but also keep an eye out for dangerous chemicals and hazards. Do all that and more using these simple winter dog care tips:
- It probably goes without saying, but never shave your dog’s coat in the winter, as longer hair provides more warmth.
- Keep them toasty with a sweater or coat as needed. Breeds with naturally short or thin coats, toy breeds, and smaller, light bodied breeds definitely benefit from outerwear when they go on walks. And make sure their clothing stays dry!
- Wash their paws after walks to get rid of any toxic chemicals, like antifreeze and salt, that they might have stepped in.
- Better yet, put on booties to protect their paws from cold pavement, snow, ice, and de-icing chemicals.
- Don’t let your dog walk on a frozen pond. Thin ice can crack under their weight, plunging them into cold water that could easily cause hypothermia.
- Be on the lookout for white or blue skin. Freezing temps can put dogs’ extremities at risk for frostbite.
- Moisturize paw pads with olive oil, petroleum jelly, or Vitamin E to prevent painful cracking.
Keep your dog safe indoors, too! Even pet friendly communities, such as The Lofts in Morgantown, West Virginia and South Duff in Ames, Iowa, aren’t without danger, as holiday decorations (like tinsel) can be harmful if ingested.
You might also be interested in these four tips for dog parents who rent.