Dogs and Cold Weather: How to Keep Your Pet Safe
Winter is here; both man and canine are experiencing frigid temperatures that are becoming prevalent over pretty much every part of the country. Although dogs and cold weather seem to go well together, over-exposure could result in hypothermia, a condition characterised by low body temperature induced by prolonged exposure to cold.
Your canine companion needs as much protection from the cold weather as your humble self.
If you notice that your furry friend:
- Always assumes a cramped posture
- Lie close to a heat source
- Trembles or looks unwell, etc.
Then, it may be that the cold weather has proved too much for your pooch.
So, as you pick up those winter clothes that have decorated the back of your wardrobe since the beginning of the year, you should follow these tips to protect your dog from the harsh weather:
Pet-proof your home
Have you noticed the affinity between your dog and heat sources such as electric heaters or the fireplace? Most pets usually seek out heat sources and stay close to them. Dogs that are known to do this are the hairless, small, and short-haired breeds.
Therefore, make out time to pet-proof your home for the winter season. You can do this by ensuring that your electric heater or fireplace is safe from your canine companion looking for a warm place to their heads.
Feed your doggy with protein-rich foods
To keep their body temperature on the high side when spending some time outside, your pet uses up a lot of energy. Thus, you need to ensure that your furry friend is well fed at all times, especially with foods rich in protein.
Protein-rich foods give your pet a lot of calories to burn during their sojourn out in the open. You also need to ensure that your four-legged friend is well hydrated by checking to see if their source of water is intact or frozen over. If the latter is the case, then endeavour to change it for the liquid option.
Do not rely on the thick coat of your dog
Some pet owners hold this mistaken belief that since their dogs have thick coats, they are less susceptible to cold. This is far from the truth. Dogs and cold weather are not all that compatible, and if you start noticing that your doggy is somewhat uncomfortable and less active, it is high time you took it inside your residence away from the cold.
You should watch out for these symptoms of a cold, irrespective of whether or not they are wearing winter apparel (though you shouldn’t wait until it gets to this level before herding your dog inside the house):
- Watery eyes
- A runny nose
- Sneezing, etc.
Protect the paws
It is a common sight during the winter months to see roads, walkways or sidewalks covered in salt to facilitate the melting of snow as well as to enhance traction.
But repeated exposure to these salt-covered passageways could result in cracked skin as well as a terrible case of bleeding from your pooch’s paws.
Therefore, the next time you go outdoors with your pet, make sure you clean out your dog’s paws using warm water as soon as you get back home. Then use a paper towel to dry off the moisture completely.
Dogs and cold weather can be managed successfully by following these tips as they will help to guarantee the safety of your pet throughout the harsh winter months.