Frosty Paws: Winter Care Tips For Your Dog

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Winter is the harshest season for pets who usually love the great outdoors. Dogs that love to run around outside often find themselves confined to the sofa when the snow falls. It’s not because we make them stay indoors, but they often choose to stay in the warmth and away from the chill of the ice on their paws. Some dogs just don’t care whether it’s snowing outside or not, they want to run around and snap at the snowflakes and bump into the snowy trees. Either way, as a dog owner you have to be prepared for the harsh weather and how your dog handles it. Protecting your pooch is the top priority when those chilly winds start to blow.

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So many pet owners have a preconceived notion that a coat of fur means that their dog can tolerate the harsh conditions. It’s absolutely untrue. Cold, frosty winds on the outside – as in, opposite to where your dog lives – means that they are no more used to the cold weather than we are. Pets need more care through the winter months to ensure that they are comfortable and healthy so that they stay that way. There are so many articles in the world that talk about how our dogs are essential to our emotional and physical well being. We talk a lot about how dogs can aid in our healing and we all know that dogs look after us as much as we look after them, so it’s nice to ensure that they able to feel calm and secure when the cold rolls in. If you rely on your dog for your emotional and mental health, then it makes sense that you would want to do everything humanly possible to winter-proof your pet and care for them in return. Daily walks are still important after you register an emotional support dog, not just for yourself but for them. Make sure that when you are planning those walks, that they are safe for your dog. You are relying on your dog, and he is relying on you to feel safe and winter care is important for that. We’ve listed below some of the best tips around so that you can continue to explore the snowy landscapes with little danger.

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Frostbite & Hypothermia: Serious Conditions For A Dog

When you consider the cold weather and the impact it could have on your pet, you may be imagining that the ground is a little too cold. Frostbite in a dog isn’t always immediately recognizable, but those soft paws, ears and tail can get very cold very quickly. Ice crystals can form easily in the tissues of these areas, causing damage that is irreversible in most cases. Pale, grey skin in your dog can be a sure sign that frostbite is setting in. Hypothermia is another cause for concern when the weather is chilly. Your dog may love jumping in the local lake, but it makes sense that in the colder conditions you keep your dog leashed at all times. The last thing that you need is to have to rush your dog to the vet because they have ended up with hypothermia. When the condition is severe, it can be life-threatening. The protection from these issues is essential, and you have to do whatever you can to ensure that your dog is safe from the cold. If you are caught between whether the weather is too cold for your dog, stand in your own doorway with your coat on. If it is too cold for you to go out, then the chances are that it’s far too cold for your dog to be outside. A dog that whines, shakes and behaves in an anxious way is a dog that is not happy with being in the great outdoors. Pay attention to this behaviour!

Protecting Your Pooch

You may snigger at dogs with velvet jackets on, but you won’t be sniggering when you realise that your dog has a thin coat, so will need a top-up layer. You can buy plenty of dog jackets like this one to help keep your dog lovely and warm when you are out on your regular walks. A proper coat reaches from neck to tail and keeps your dog totally warm, which is exactly what is needed when the temperatures plummet.

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When The Sun Shines

There are obvious times during the day, especially around lunchtime, where it’s safer to walk your dog. The sun is usually out during these times, and so it makes sense to go and soak up the vitamin D while you can. Your dog is going to rely on that sunshine to keep warm, so pack a ball and go and get those legs stretched out while you can.

Time Limits Are A Must

Your dog has to go outside to do its business, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay out there for hours on end. Go out for a quick run around, a stretch of the legs and the chance to use the doggy bathroom, but once the cold starts to affect you it’s a good sign it’s time up for your dog, too. Keep an eye on the ears and tail and watch for those frostbite signs we mentioned earlier.

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Extra Cozy Bedding

When the winter rolls in, you change the duvet tog on your bedding to a thicker one for the winter. Your dog needs the same. Add fleece liners to his basket and add warm blankets. Move the bed to a warmer part of the house if you have to, just don’t let your dog sleep in the cold. Their joints will thank you for it when they haven’t seized up in the cold overnight. Go for a carpeted area, if you can, because the last thing those paws need when it’s been chilly through the house is to touch icy tiled flooring. Much like us, it’s all about comfort for your pet.

Moisturize The Coat

Our skin gets affected by the cold and harsh temperatures, so it makes sense that our dogs suffer the same affliction. Adding a supplement purely for the skin and coat to his food is the way you can ensure that you are keeping their coat healthy. Apply coconut oil as you need to throughout the season directly onto the coat. Your dog deserves the best and applying topical cream when you can see there is a need is the best way to make sure that your dog stays in the best shape that he can.

Paws For Thought

Cracked paw pads are a horrible pain for a dog, and in the cold, this is exactly what can happen. The salt and grit on the sidewalk can burn the pads of your dog’s paws, so you have to be very careful about going out in the snow. Always wipe the paws of your dog when you go outside and when you come in again, so that they aren’t treading burning salt into the house. Some places sell little shoes for dogs to wear, which are perfect for those dogs who are more susceptible to sore paws in the cold.

Dogs aren’t just pets. They’re so much more than that so looking after them has to be second to none. The winter months are harsh and scary for your pooch, and you need to make sure that they stay happy and healthy throughout the whole year. Take the time to look after your pup this winter – they’ll soon thank you for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Comments

  1. Not only humans suffer with this cold and ice we are experiencing right now. This is a big help for them! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shannon Pickin says:

    Great tips! If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them!

  3. I’ve always gone by what the vet said, if your cold then your pet is too.

  4. Susan Smith says:

    My dog doesn’t like the cold or snow so she doesn’t stay out very long.

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