Winter is here! Your dog loves to play in the snow…but how do you know when your dog has had enough? If your dog gets too cold, he can get hypothermia which can potentially cause death. Hypothermia occurs when your dog’s temp falls below normal. Another concern, (less common) is frostbite. Don’t let your dog play out in the snow for a long period of time. It’s up to you to protect them and keep them safe.
Use paw pad protectant or booties on your dog’s paws to protect them in frigid temps. Check your dog’s paw pads regularly for drying and cracking. Staying on top of this, can circumvent health issues down the road. Untreated paw pad issues can lead to leaning improperly on their paws, creating the inability to walk straight as they get older, often inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering.
Wipe your dog’s paws when they come inside, to remove salt from their paws and t prevent ingestion of the salt (some salt can cause your dog to become sick). Use pet-friendly salt at home, if needed.
When it’s snowy and icy outside, your dog still needs to go out. Icy walkways can be hazardous to your pet as well as you! You can slip and fall on icy sidewalks and stairs, and so can your dog! Be careful.
Don’t leave pets outdoors in freezing temps. However, if your dog needs to spend more time outside, you should keep in mind that he will need more food. Trying to stay warm depletes energy. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water (make sure the water is not frozen). In freezing temps, remember not to use a metal water bowl, as your dog’s tongue can freeze to the bowl.