Walking Your Dog: Must-know Tips for Keeping Them Warm
Even dogs with thick coats can get very cold during the winter. The colder the temperature, the colder he is likely to feel. Did you know that even your pets can get frostbite as well as hypothermia? As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your pet stays as warm as possible during the colder parts of the year. Fortunately, you won’t have to try very hard to keep your dog warm and safe during the winter. In fact, if you apply the same measures you apply to keep yourself warm during the winter, these will help keep your dog cozy and toasty as well. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.
Stay Indoors as Much as Possible
Even Arctic sled dogs get cold when they are left out in the cold weather for extended periods of time. This is why it is so important to limit time outdoors and spend as much time indoors as possible. Sure, most of your dog’s body parts will stay warm thanks to his fur coat, but according to the director of pet care issues at the Humane Society of the United States, K.C. Theisen, “their [the dogs’] ears are exposed, their paws are in direct contact with cold cement, their nose is sticking out there in the wind.” These are the parts of your dog’s body that are most likely to get frostbite.
Put On an Extra Layer of Clothing
Just the same as you add on extra layers of clothing when going out in the cold, you need to do the same for your dog when taking him out to use the bathroom or exercise in cold weather. It is especially important to layer extra clothes on puppies and older canines because they tend to have a hard time controlling their body heat. And while you may be tempted to put a head covering on your dog, Theisen says, “If it’s so cold that you think you should cover their head, you probably shouldn’t go outdoors.” Instead, a comfortable sweater or dog coat should be sufficient if the temperature isn’t too cold.
Bring Along Wipes and Towels
If you take your dog out in the cold weather and notice he is licking on his paws a lot, it is a good idea to wipe down his paws with a wipe and towel because there is a good chance he is licking de-icer, like antifreeze. De-icers can be toxic and even deadly, so make sure to wipe his paws off every time you bring him back in the house. Also, if he has ice or snow in his paws, make sure you wipe it out too to help prevent his paws from cracking and bleeding.
Don’t Leave Him in a Cold Car
Taking your dog along with you to the grocery store in the winter is a great way to get him out and about, but always make sure to bring someone along with you that can sit in the car with him and keep the heat turned on. Just the same as you would not want to sit in the car with the heat off, your dog doesn’t either. Sure, his fur coat may keep him warm for a bit, but the longer he sits in the car with no heat, the colder he is going to get.