Winter is our favorite time of year, because we have lovely thick coats to keep us warm, we even go swimming in the frigid waters of Williams Creek and then roll in the snow afterwards! That’s not for every dog though! Here are our tips to keep your pups safe!
Fenn & Bella here to talk to you about winter pet safety!
- Please give us fresh, clean water at all times. Frozen water in outside bowls is a common winter problem, so check it often and use a plastic bowl instead of a metal one. Your pup will thank you. Heated water bowls are available if necessary, but can be a fire hazard, so be careful! Our mom uses one for our chickens. (Feathered friends need winter care too!)
- Bring us inside during sub-zero temperatures and winter storms. Even though most dogs grow a winter coat to help protect them from the cold, our natural environment is not in temperatures that are sub-zero. If left outside for an extended period without protection, we can get frostbite (especially on the pads of our feet, ears and tail) or even freeze to death. If your dogs are housed outdoors during the winter, make sure they have adequate insulated shelter to protect them from the wind and moisture.
- For house dogs not used to being outdoors in the cold, or for young, old and short-haired dogs, limit time outdoors and consider those adorable dog coats. We envy our short-haired doggie friends that look so stylish in their little coats!
- Antifreeze is deadly! We enjoy the sweet taste of this necessary toxic substance. Take care to clean up drips and spills and store it out of reach from us! If ingested, get your pet to the vet immediately. Those pretty poinsettias are also toxic to pets.
- Chemical de-icers and salt can cause our paws discomfort and can result in cracking and bleeding of our foot pads- even the ‘pet-friendly de-icers’. Wash our paws off thoroughly after walks. Snow and ice can also accumulate between your pet’s toes, causing pain as well as bleeding and sores. Our mom uses a product called Mushers Secret to coat our paws. My doggie sister has such sensitive paws and it really helps! Mom has even used Pam cooking spray on our feathering when we are out in very wet snow.
- Avoid over-bathing. Too many baths during the winter months can strip the natural oils from your pet and result in dry, itchy skin. It is better to limit baths to when it is absolutely necessary and simply spot-clean your pet when possible.
- Proper nutrition is always important, especially if your dog is housed outdoors. When temperatures are colder, outside dogs will generally need more food to help keep their bodies warm. Inside dogs may need less food if their activity level is significantly cut back due to extreme weather conditions. You may need to consult your veterinarian and adjust the amount of food your pet receives based on his body condition.
- Our mom supplements our food with Coconut Oil (morning) which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and Fish Oil (evening). This is especially nice during the winter to help keep our coat and skin healthy. Please as your veterinarian for guidance with all supplements and always start out slowly!
- Can’t get out to run much? Consider a doggie treadmill! Our mom bought us one to use when she’s too busy helping her real estate clients, or if the weather is terrible. Ours is called a Dog Pacer, and another good one is the Jog-A-Dog. Again, be sure to always consult your veterinarian and start off slow! We love it, but not all dogs will.