Winter may compel many of us to stay indoors and cozy up with a good book and fuzzy socks, but our pets may think differently. If you have an active dog who loves being outdoors, winter may be bit of a challenge considering many breeds are not equipped to be in cold weather for prolonged periods. How can we make sure our loved pooch stays warm and safe during the frigid winter season.
Here are some winter safety tips for your dog:
Get them acclimatized:
Do you have a new puppy who has never been outside? It is important to acclimatize dogs before letting them go outside. It is a common misconception that dogs have fur that can help them stay warm. That is not true for every breed. Dogs can get frostbite (in paws, ear or tails) or dog hypothermia if they stay outside in the cold for too long. This is especially true for very young and very old dogs.
Remove harmful material:
Driveways may often be covered with salt during wintertime. Although rock salt is not toxic, it could upset your dog’s stomach if they ingest it. Salt can also irritate the paws. Keep your dog away from spots or substances on driveways so they do not lick. It is better to wipe off your pet’s paws before they come inside to remove any salt or antifreeze residue.
Protect their paws:
Cold weather is dehydrating for the skin and for a dog, it can cause cracked skin. We can take care of our dog’s paws by using a moisturizer to soothe the skin. It is best to ask a vet which cream would be suitable for your dog. Make sure to divert your pet’s attention after applying the cream so they do not lick it off. Cleaning their paws after they come from outside can also help keep their paws clean and healthy.
Keep them groomed:
It is a misconception that pets do not need grooming during winter. Even if your dog can not go out to shake out the water after bathing, pet owners can use other methods to dry their dog. Anytime your dog is wet after playing in the snow or running in the rain, dry him thoroughly. Regular rub-downs can help them stay dry and warm. Part of grooming involves brushing your dog. Brushing can help keep away mats and tangles, which only get worse the longer they are kept.
Get them winter ready:
Your loved dog can stay warm and look great with winter clothes made especially for pets. Not all dogs need dog jackets, but they are great for puppies, older dogs or those pooches who have certain health conditions. Many companies sell great dog winter boots that can protect them from ice, snow, and salt. Most pet stores have a great collection of pet clothing and you can find some fun outfits and paw protection products that can keep them warm and safe in wintertime.
Whether you are planning to get some warm clothes from the pet store or to the dog groomer, Paws en route is here for you! Paws en route, a Toronto pet taxi service, provides safe and timely pet transportation. Let us know if you have any questions. Book a ride with us today!