Protecting Your Dog in Snow & Ice

Protecting Your Dog in Snow & Ice

Posted Feb 18, 2019 in Seasonal

The colder temperatures that come with the winter season can bring beautiful snowfall, but also dangerous ice and frigid winds. To ensure you and your pup have a prosperous and healthy winter we’ve gathered some of the most vital information to be informed upon to protect your dog from the snow and ice. 

Let Your Dog Gradually Build Up to the Cold

The key to the cold is letting your dog acclimate to it. If your pup seems fine outside and isn’t shivering or begging to come back inside, it’s perfectly fine for them to stay out there. Those dogs have most likely built up to the cold to where it doesn’t affect them nearly as much as it would a dog who hasn’t gotten used to the lower temperatures. Start with short sessions outside and continue to build up to more extended amounts. Your dog will be much more likely to adjust to the cold successfully. 

Try to Make Poddy Time Efficient 

Instead of just letting your dog figure out where to do their business in the snow, try shoveling an area out for them. Moving the snow and showing a nice spot of grass will help your furry friend find a place right away, making bathroom breaks quicker and more comfortable. If you already have areas in your yard that seem to be protected from the ice and snow encourage Fido to go in those areas. After they have successfully done their business, it wouldn’t hurt to reward them with a treat, so they know this action is positive and encouraged.

Be Cautious of Rock Salt & Antifreeze 

Rock salt can cut and irritate your poor pup’s paws, and contact with antifreeze is extremely toxic for them. If either is digested, your pup’s stomach will definitely not agree with it and make them terribly sick. Keeping an eye out for blue or green substances on driveways and sidewalks. This will help you prevent your pup from coming in contact with those unhealthy substances. Once you come inside, make sure to wipe off their paws so they don’t end up licking off and antifreeze or salt that may have made its way there. 

Know How to Warm Your Dog Up

If your dog seems cold wrap them in a warm blanket or towel. You can try using a blow dryer on a low setting, but make sure you avoid their paws because they could be easily burned. Another great option is heating up some rice in a sock that you can lay on them. But make sure you apply it to your wrist first to ensure it isn’t too cold. If you know your dog has been cold sensitive in the past stock up on doggy booties, sweaters, and coats. They may look funny or cute, but they actually help retain your furry friend’s heat. 

Keep Your Pup’s Paws Properly Protected 

Due to dry cold winds, your canine’s paws could become dry and cracked. If this does occur use moisturizer that is made for or safe for animals to soothe and restore moisture. After you apply the cream, you’ll want to keep an eye on your pup and keep them distracted. You don’t want them to end up licking off the substance. Investing in doggy booties is becoming more and more popular among dog owners. Your dog may take some time to get used to the feeling of them. But they help protect against cold and toxic elements that are waiting outside. 

Don’t Use the Cold as an Excuse to Skip Exercising 

Neglecting your dog’s exercise routine can result in nervous and destructive behavior due to the pent-up energy. Once your dog has built up to the more freezing temperatures, continue your daily walking routine. Also, allow them to play and run around outside if they feel comfortable doing so. If it is actually too cold to be out for very long, get creative and exercise inside.  You can build a small pillow obstacle course or try “tug-of-war” in a hallway. 

Being cautious of some of the dangers the winter season holds will help you prevent dozens of injuries and illnesses in your dog. Allowing them to enjoy the season instead of dreading it. 

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