Have You Winter Proofed Your Dog?
For some of our East Coast and European friends, winter is still in full-swing and most have probably taken necessary precautions to make sure you and your family are properly prepared for the cold. Even in the western and southern states, we all know the importance of keeping warm and flu-free in the colder months. This is especially true for your fur-family as well!
When the temperature drops, dogs are just as prone to getting airborne diseases and suffering from cold weather-related ailments. As such, just with any living being, steps must be taken to ensure your dog stays healthy this winter.
Have you winter-proofed your dog yet? Here are a few must-dos to helping Fido fight winter’s elements:
Keep his fluids accessible
While most people think water is a necessity in the summer, keeping your pup hydrated will keep immune system and spirits up, which will better enable your pup to power through the winter. Just make sure the water he’s drinking is at a tolerable temperature. While the notion of ice-cold water leading to gastrointestinal problems in dogs has proven to be a myth, why would anyone (your pup included) want to drink freezing cold water in the middle of winter? Make sure your dog has plenty of drinkable, room-temperature fluids to get him through the winter months!
Keep him away from any questionable bodies of water
Whether they’re frozen or not! Unfrozen puddles can be cesspools of bacteria any time of the year and frozen water can break under a dog’s weight. Also be on the lookout for black ice while on your daily walks. Dogs can slip and fall as easily as humans can.
Keep him away from toxic winter-proofing products
Anti-freeze. Space heaters. Rock-salts. While these products may be God-send weapons for winter, they can be dangerously destructive for your pooch. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Keep your dog away from dangerous ice-melting products like anti-freeze, rock salt, Urea/ carbamide and potassium chloride, and be mindful of his proximity to potentially hazardous heating tools like space heaters, fireplaces and electric blankets.
Keep him warm
Depending on your opinion, dog clothes might be the most adorable or abominable thing ever. However, in the winter, function should trump fashion. Keep your dog warm outdoors with protective coats and boots in order to keep his blood circulating. Protecting your pup’s torso and paws against the element is crucial. Walking around on hard or cracked surfaces can lead to cuts and sores on your dog, which are easily exacerbated by the elements. Not only that, but frostbite and gangrene are also more prevalent in the winter. To be on the safe side, keep your outdoor-loving pet indoors as much as possible until spring.
The most important thing is to practice caution, care, and common sense when caring for your pup this winter, just as you would with any member of your precious family.
But don’t worry… the tulips will be popping their heads out very soon!