Winter time is coming and playing in the snow means lots of fun to your dog, but too much cold can be dangerous for him.
Some dog breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernard’s, Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds, are bred to live in colder weathers and generally have less problems with low temperatures.
On the other hand, dogs with a short coat and no undercoat will not deal well with icy temperatures. Puppies, senior dogs, and diseased dogs (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and hormonal conditions) also get cold quickly. Toy breeds, like Pinschers and Chihuahuas, are also more susceptible to chilly temperatures. These dogs necessitate extra cold protection and premium nutrition.
Here are some tips to keep your dog safe during winter:
- Dogs that live outdoors should have appropriate muscle bulk and fat to provide body insulation during cold weather. Thus, you can provide a little extra food during winter in order to offer your dog the required energy to stay warm.
- Shelters should be elevated off wet and frozen ground and be well insulated. Provide appropriate bedding, straw is superior to blankets, which absorb humidity that then can freeze.
- Check on the dog’s food and water regularly to be certain they are not frozen. You should avoid metal bowls that tongues can stick and freeze to.
- Feed your dog several small meals during the day. This way you can check on him while providing him an appropriate amount of calories all day long.
- During winter don’t forget to brush and comb your dog’s coat. A dry and clean coat will help your dog to stay warmer.
- During winter walks dogs can pick up rock salt, ice and chemicals on their foot pads. So, towel dry your dog’s paws and get rid of snow balls accumulated between his foot pads. You can also trim the excess hair between the toes, this will prevent the formation of ice crystals in this area.
- If your dog is long haired you should not shave him down to the skin during cold weather. You can simply trim his coat.
- If your dog is short-haired, contemplate getting him a sweater with coverage from the base of the tail to the abdomen and thorax.
- Applying paw protectants into paw pads can help protect from salt and chemical agents outdoors. In alternative, you can buy dog booties.
- Certify that all chemicals are correctly stored. Be particularly cautious with antifreeze, because it has a sugary taste that appeals dogs and can be fatal in small quantities.
Keep in mind, if it’s too cold for you, it’s possibly too cold for your dog, so keep your dog warm and comfy. The safest thing to do is to keep your dog indoors. Dogs who are left outdoors for a long periods of time without adequate protection and shelter can suffer from hypothermia. Distal extremities, such as ear tips, paws and the end of the tail are particularly prone to cold injuries.