Cold weather is here and it is essential to keep your pets warm. But do you know these cold weather tips for your dog? Cold temperatures should not become a problem for most dogs until they fall below 45° F, at which point some cold-averse dogs might begin to feel uncomfortable. But remember, if you’re cold, so are they.
Just because you live in California or Florida don’t think that your pets don’t get cold just like us. For those of us who live in the very cold parts of the world, these quick cold weather tips can save your dog’s life.
Dog Paws Get Cold
Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. If your dog will allow you to fit him or her with little doggie boots to cover the paws, this can really help.
TIP: You may be able to reduce the chance of ice-ball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes. During walks, your dog’s feet, legs, and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic.
When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog can be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur.
Consider using pet-safe de-icers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
Avoid ice! When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes, and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice, it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.
Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs
Veterinarians have described the following symptoms as signs of Hypothermia, as part of our cold weather tips for your dog:
- Intense shivering and trembling, followed by no shivering.
- Acting sleepy or lethargic and weak.
- Fur and skin are cold to the touch.
- Body temperature is below 95 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- Decreased heart rate.
- Dilated pupils (the black inner circle of the eye appears larger)
Traveling With Your Pets In Winter
Hot cars are a known threat to pets but cold cars also pose a significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator and can quickly chill your pet.
Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.
Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards, and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water, and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heart worm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least five days.
Most pet owners practice common sense when taking their pets out in the cold and preparing for emergencies. In case you had not thought of these cold weather tips for your dog, we hope you will share this article with friends and family who love their dogs.
Remember if you see a dog chained or left outdoors in frigid weather, call you local Animal Control, even if it is a neighbor’s pet. There are Laws in all 50 States protecting animals from cruelty.
Be safe all winter long! We Love when our articles are Shared with other pet owners 🙂 Feel free to comment and leave your own cold weather pet tips with us.