Brrr…winter is here and it sure is cold! And even though your dog has a nice fur coat, only a few dog breeds are able to withstand these cold winter temperatures. So here are some tips to help keep your furry friend cozy and warm during the extreme winter temps.
Keep your pets inside as much as you can when the temperatures drop. If your dog is usually an outdoor dog, move him indoors into an area that is well protected from the cold. Make sure he has a warm place to sleep, perhaps in a soft, warm doggie bed or cuddled up on a warm blanket with pillows.
Wipe off your dog’s paws, legs, and body when he comes in from the snow or ice. You can even try tossing some towels in the dryer for a few minutes, and then rub him down with the warm towels to melt off any snow and help warm him up. Make sure to clean his paws in order to remove any irritants such as salt or other chemicals that may have been sprinkled on the sidewalk or roadways. If his paws do become irritated, try soaking them in warm water. You might also want to start giving him fish oil, such as MaxiDerm skin and coat formula, which will provide Omega fatty acids.
Keep your dog away from antifreeze. Even in small doses (as little as one teaspoon) antifreeze is lethal to dogs and cats. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is a toxic compound; it can also be found in several other car products (windshield fluid, motor oil, brake fluid), as well as in some paints and solvents. And, unfortunately antifreeze apparently has a sweet flavor that actually attracts many animals. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned by antifreeze (signs would include in-coordination and drooling) call your vet immediately.
If your dog is a shorthaired breed, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. Doggie apparel comes in all sorts of sizes and colors – you can chose from solid earth tones, bright neon, all sorts of patterns, animal prints or stripes or even colorful plaids. So have some fun, get creative and in the meantime your dog will be nice and warm during his outdoor walks.
If your dog participates in outdoor activities during the colder weather, he’ll need extra calories to help keep warm. So give him some additional food, and also check his water to make sure it’s not frozen. You can also buy a special heated dog water dish which will prevent the water from turning into ice. And just like people, your dog’s joints can become more stiff and sore in the cold, damp weather. If you’re not already using joint supplements for dogs, now is a good time to start giving him InflamAway HA. Made with all natural ingredients including Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid, for dogs that need maximum joint support InflamAway HA is your #1 choice.
For dogs that are spending more time indoors, they still need to get their exercise. There are lots of indoor games you can play with your dog, such as playing fetch with a ball or toy down a long hallway. Or you can play a game of hide and go seek: give your dogs a treat, then go to another room and call him to come to you, give him a treat, and then move to another room. He’ll love the attention and the extra exercise will be great for him!