Winter is quickly approaching, which means temperatures are dropping below freezing. While some dogs have thick coats designed to withstand cold temperatures, others have thin coats that don’t keep them very warm. When it comes to spending time outside this winter with your pup, use your best judgment. Take into consideration the thickness of your dog’s coat and his age, as puppies and senior dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature. Remember these tips to keep your dog safe this winter:
• Keep an eye out for rock salt and antifreeze. During winter walks, your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals that are used for snow, including salt, antifreeze, and deicers. Be sure to wipe down your dog’s paws when you return from your walk to prevent them from licking it off and becoming sick.
• Be mindful about dog grooming. If your dog is long-haired, it’s best to trim the hair to minimize clinging ice balls, salt crystals, and de-icing chemicals that can dry on skin. A longer coat will provide more warmth in the winter, so don’t shave your dog down to the skin. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting a coat or sweater for winter wear.
• Protect their paws. Massaging Vaseline or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect your dog’s paws from becoming flaky, dry, or itchy.
• Limit your dog’s time outside. Of course we love seeing our dogs play in the snow, but too much time outside could cause frostbite, especially on delicate earflaps and tail tips. Be mindful of how much time your dog is spending outside during the extreme cold, and try to limit time in extreme temperatures.
A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you in your winter coat, it’s too cold for your dog! If you have any additional questions, please contact Central Bark.