Keep your pups safe in winter weather

Like it or not, winter is here, and with that comes the need to make some changes for your dog to stay healthy, says the American Kennel Club.

One timely tip is to take measures to protect your pupper’s paws. Booties are a great way to ensure those tender tootsies aren’t affected by the cold and snow. Or even paw balm can help, says the AKC article. Try the organic 4 Legger Nose and Paws Healing Balm.

Don’t forget to trim the fuzz on the four-legged’s paws between the pads and toes, says the article. Cut the hair so that it is even with the surface of the foot, it adds. 

Make sure when you get home after an outside romp to wash your pet’s paws. Rock salt and other de-icing substances make it safer for humans but not so great for the paw lickers. “Some people keep a bucket next to the door to rinse their dog’s feet as soon as they come in from the cold,” says the article. “Use warm water and make sure to reach spots between the toes and pads. Some dogs will also need a moisturizer.”

Frostbite isn’t just for humans – dogs can get it too, says the article. So, it’s a good idea to limit the time outside. Delicate earflaps and tail tips in extreme cold are particularly vulnerable. “If it’s not possible to keep the dogs indoors, be aware of the major signs of frostbite, which include skin that appears white or blue,” says the story.

As the weather changes, slowly introduce them to the colder clime by gradually increasing time outside so they can acclimate to freezing temps. “Short romps outside will help your dog’s body get used to the change in weather,” says the AKC.

Even though dogs have a fur coat, having them go outside in just that is like humans only wearing a spring jacket, says the article. Make sure they have an appropriate outside wardrobe. Shop for jackets here.

Colder weather can affect dogs more as they age as they can develop difficulty regulating their body temperate as they get older. “Keep the oldsters and the puppies indoors as much as possible,” advises the article.

Finally, keep an eye open for antifreeze. Just a teaspoon can cause kidney failure. Signs that your dog has inadvertently eaten it include drooling, vomiting, seizures, excessive thirst, panting, lethargy, and appearing to be drunk. Even if you think they don’t have access, the AKC advises that there can be a danger from residue in the streets. Watch where your dog sniffs and if they do have the signs get them to a vet immediately.