ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Winter Tips for Dogs
In some parts of the country, winterizing your
pets is not so much of a
concern. Here in Minnesota, where layered clothing is a fashion
statement taking care of our pets during harsh weather is an important
Feet and Pads
Skin and Coat
- Remove ice, salt or snow from
your dog's coat and paws
as soon as you come inside.
- Thoroughly dry damp feet to
prevent cracked, sore pads.
- Spread petroleum jelly, olive oil
or baby oil on your
dog's paws if the pads are cracked. This will soften the skin and
prevent more cracking. Do this both before and after you walk your dog
or have him outside. You may also want to use "booties" on your dog's
feet to help protect them. If you are walking your dog on really cold
days, booties are an excellent investment.
- Trim the paw hair to keep snow
from forming ice pellets
on the bottom of his feet. Trim the hair so it is even with the pads.
Use a scissors with a blunt tip in case the feet are ticklish, that way
you shouldn't cut the pads.
- Keep toenails properly trimmed. Long
nails lower traction and make your
dog walk on
the back of his paws which spreads the toes and leaves them open for
snow and chemicals.
- Brush frequently to stimulate
production of oil and
remove dead hair from the coat. This will help keep your dog's coat and
skin in good condition which will help him deal better with winter.
- Frostbite is a concern for dogs
in cold climates. The
most common areas for frostbite are the tips of the ears, tip of the
tail and the paw pads. If your dog has skin that looks reddish, white
or gray and is
scaly, peeling or cold to the touch, it may be frostbite. Call you
veterinarian immediately for instructions on rewarming the area with
tepid or warm water. NEVER use hot water on frostbite.
- Fish oil can help condition
your dog's coat during the
dry winter months. Many dogs can get the amount they need in a super
premium pet food. If your dog's coat still seems dry, you can also find
fish oil supplements at your local pharmacy. (The omega fatty acids
found in fish oil
work on a cellular level to support good health. In humans and pets,
balance of these nutrients is critical. Correctly balanced ratios of
fatty acids can nutritionally support the natural healing process and
a healthy and shiny coat.)
- Coats for dogs are an excellent
way to keep your dog
warm while enjoying walks. Fashions now come in many styles and sizes
so there are likely to be several choices for your companion.
- Never leave your dog in a car during
cold weather. A car can
act like a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. If left too
long, your companion could freeze to death.
- If you dog is sensitive to cold due to
age, illness or breed
type, take him out only long enough to relieve himself and then bring
him back indoors.
- Puppies do not tolerate the cold as
well as adult dogs be sure
not to leave them outside too long. The up side is house training often
goes more quickly when they don't care to be outside in the cold.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin
in winter. Leave the coat
in a longer style for more warmth. Remember that longer coats will need
brushing due to dry winter air and static electricity. When you bathe
dog be sure they are completely dry before taking them out for a winter
- Have a warm place for your companion
to sleep away from drafts
and off the floor. A good quality dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or
pad in it works great.
- Antifreeze, even in very small doses,
is a lethal poison for
dogs and cats. Unfortunately, because it has a sweet taste, animals are
attracted to it. Be certain to thoroughly clean up any spills from you
vehicle. To prevent
accidental poisonings, more and more people are using products
containing propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. If your
companion has gotten into antifreeze call your veterinarian immediately.
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