With temperatures dipping, your dog will need a little special attention to stay warm, happy, healthy and safe this winter. Follow these helpful tips to keep your dog at his best during the cold months ahead.
- If your dog goes outdoors during the colder months, make sure he is acclimated and doesn’t stay out too long, especially when the temperatures are below freezing.
- Check and clean your dog’s paws regularly, especially after an outing when road salt, ice or snow can collect and cause frostbite or irritation.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. It’s seen most often on ears, the tail and footpads, and look for pale, glossy or white skin. Better yet, prevent frostbite all together by limiting your dog’s time outside.
- For shorthaired and small breed dogs, consider a sweater for trips outdoors.
- Feeding your dog brand pet foods help ensure he’ll get all the nutrition he needs to handle most winter weather conditions. Severe weather conditions may require more frequent meals or increased amounts; consult with your veterinarian if you suspect severe cold weather conditions.
- Antifreeze has a sweet taste dogs like but it’s toxic enough to cause serious illness and even death. Make sure your car isn’t leaking any fluids and keep containers safely locked away.
- Shelter for outdoor dogs is essential. Provide a house elevated slightly off the ground that’s large enough for your dog to stand, lie down and turn around in; but small enough to retain body heat. Make sure it’s insulated, watertight and has plenty of clean, dry bedding.
- Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice changes in your dog’s behavior, such as energy-level or appetite-decrease.
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