In some parts of the country, winterizing your pets is not so much of
a concern. Here in the land of ice and snow, where layered clothing is a
fashion statement, taking care of our pets during harsh weather is an
important survival skill.
Feet and Pads
- Remove ice, salt or snow from your dog’s coat and paws as soon as you come inside.
- Thoroughly dry off damp feet to prevent cracked, sore pads.
- Spread coconut oil, olive oil or baby oil on your dog’s paws if the
pads are cracked. This will soften the skin and prevent more cracking.
Do this both before and after you walk your dog or have him outside. You
may also want to use “booties” on your dog’s feet to help protect them.
If you are walking your dog on really cold days, booties are an
- Trim the paw hair to keep snow from forming ice pellets on the
bottom of his feet. Trim the hair so it is even with the pads. Use a
scissors with a blunt tip in case the feet are ticklish, that way you
shouldn’t accidentally cut the pads.
- Keep toenails
properly trimmed. Long nails lower traction and make your dog walk on
the back of his paws which spreads the toes and leaves them open for
collecting snow and harmful chemicals.
Skin and Coat
- Brush your dog frequently to stimulate production of oil and remove
dead hair from the coat. This will help keep your dog’s coat and skin in
good condition which will help him deal better with winter.
- Frostbite is also a concern for dogs in cold climates. The most
common areas for frostbite are the tips of the ears, tip of the tail and
the paw pads. If your dog has skin that looks reddish, white or gray
and is scaly, peeling or cold to the touch, it may be frostbite. Call
you veterinarian immediately for instructions on rewarming the area with
tepid or warm water. NEVER use hot water on frostbite.
- Fish oil can help condition your dog’s coat during the dry winter
months. Many dogs can get the amount of Omega oils they need in a super
premium pet food. If your dog’s coat still seems dry, you can also find
oil supplements on our site. The
omega fatty acids found in fish oil work on a cellular level to support
good health. In humans and pets, the balance of these nutrients is
critical. Correctly balanced ratios of omega fatty acids can
nutritionally support the natural healing process and promote a healthy
and shiny coat.
- Coats for dogs are an excellent way to keep your dog warm while
enjoying walks. Fashions now come in many styles and sizes so there are
likely to be several choices for your companion.
- Never leave your dog in a car during cold weather. A car can act
like a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. If left too
long, your companion could freeze to death.
- If you dog is sensitive to cold due to age, illness or breed type,
take him out only long enough to relieve himself and then bring him back
- Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs be sure not
to leave them outside too long. The up side is house training often goes
more quickly when they don’t care to be outside in the cold.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat in a
longer style for more warmth. Remember that longer coats will need more
brushing due to dry winter air and static electricity.
- When you bathe your dog be sure they are completely dry before taking them out for a winter stroll.
- Have a warm place for your companion to sleep away from drafts and
off the floor. A good quality dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pad
in it works great.
- Antifreeze, even in very small doses, is a lethal poison for dogs
and cats. Unfortunately, because it has a sweet taste, animals are
attracted to it. Be certain to thoroughly clean up any spills from you
vehicle. To prevent accidental poisonings, more and more people are
using products containing propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
If your companion has gotten into antifreeze call your veterinarian
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