Many dog owners believe that if their pets have fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. But just like us, dogs are used to warmth indoors, and cold weather can be as tough for them as it is for us. Winter time is the time when your beloved pets need an extra care.
We've got 15 winter tips to keep in mind when going for a walk with your four-legged friend:
1. Warm clothing
Some dog breeds have a thick undercoat that naturally retains warmth even in very cold temperatures. But dogs with short hair will have to be warmed for winter walks. PETs R US puffer coats, vests and hoodies will keep your dog warm and cozy when the cold weather hits.
Please remember that clothing will not save your pup from frostbite on the ears, paws or tail. Do not walk with a short-haired dog for too long in low temperatures.
2. Daytime walks
If your dog is cold, try walking him later in the morning or in the afternoon when it's a little warmer outside, and avoid walking early in the morning or late at night. Spend time playing outdoors while it's sunny; sunlight has the added benefit of providing you and your pet with vitamin D.
3. Limiting the duration of walks
Your pet may love being outdoors, but even the furriest dog can catch a cold in the winter. Ears, paws and tails are the most susceptible to frostbite. Walking and outdoor activities are great, but shorten their time when the temperatures are too cold.
4. Cozy and warm bed
In addition to limiting your dog's time outside on cold days, don't let your dog sleep on cold floors, and try to avoid drafts. Beds and warm blankets can protect your dog from the cold and avoid joint problems.
5. Protection from heaters
Dogs often seek warmth in cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heat sources. Please make sure to install radiator caps on your heaters to avoid getting burned.
Fireplaces are also a serious threat, so please make sure you have a pet-proof system in place to keep your furry friend from getting burned!
6. Moisturizing the skin
Dry and cold weather can cause serious damage to your pet's skin. Help prevent dry and flaky skin by supplementing your dog’s diet with skin and coat supplements.
If you find that your pet's paw pads, ears, or tail are dry or cracked, treat them with some natural oil or balm.
7. Calorie control
Just like humans, dogs can become less active in cold weather, so they no longer need a high-calorie diet. You need to monitor your pet's activity level and adjust the amount of food accordingly.
8. Water control
Please remember that during winters dogs need as much water as in the summer time. Therefore, fill your pet's bowl with clean water in a timely manner.
Clean, well-groomed fur is a guarantee of warmth. This is very important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
Dry your dog thoroughly after bathing.
10. Paw care
One of the biggest winter problems is cracked paws. It is highly recommended to use paw wax before going for a walk. Sprinkled salt on the sidewalks is toxic and can also damage your dog's pads, so wash your pup’s paws thoroughly after walking to remove all the salt and prevent your dog from licking it off.
Special shoes will be a good protection for paws from salt and frostbite. Please make sure to choose the right size for your pet for a comfortable fit.
11. Snow removal from the site
Snow can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near the fences offers your dog escape routes that even well-trained dogs often cannot resist. When you clear snow in your yard, keep it away from the fence so your dog can't climb over it.
Snow and icicles on the roof of the house are also dangerous: when it gets warmer, they can fall off the roof and injure the pet. If you can't clear the snow and knock down icicles, keep your dog away from the roof to avoid injury.
12. Walking safety
If you walk in unfamiliar places, keep your dog close to you. It can easily enter unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes, which may be covered with snow and difficult to see.
13. Antifreeze poisoning
Antifreeze tastes sweet and dogs love to lick it off. It is extremely toxic and even small amounts can be fatal. Walk your dog away from parking lots where he can taste antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.
14. NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car.
In winter, low temperatures are just as dangerous for dogs in a car as high temperatures in summer. Leaving the vehicle turned on carries additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning, if the vehicle is parked in a garage. It's best to leave your dog at home when you're doing business.
15. Special care for exacerbated diseases
Cold weather often exacerbates existing dog conditions, especially arthritis. It is very important to keep your arthritis dog moving, but be aware of slippery surfaces. Make sure your dog has a warm, soft area to rest after a walk.
Use our winter care tips and enjoy all that winter has to offer. And don't forget that cuddling with your four-legged buddy is a great way to keep warm!