Cold Weather Tips for Dogs

Protect Your Dogs in Cold Weather

Protect Your Dogs in Cold Weather

Every year stories abound of dogs falling through ice and both dog and owner dying because the owner tried to save him.  Every year, the veterinary hospitals receive an increased number of animals injured with frostbite, hypothermia, or other cold-related ailments.  And every year, animal cruelty officers are sent to investigate owners who don’t take care of their dogs properly during the winter months.

No matter whether your dog is better suited for the indoors or outdoors, special care is always needed for every dog during the cold weather months.  Check out the simple but extensive checklist below.

*Give outdoor dogs shelter with straw (not hay) or a dog bed.  Do not use heaters unless they are approved for animals.  Consider a heated mat for animals which can be placed under a blanket or dog bed.

*Consider a dog sweater and booties for small dogs or dogs which are sensitive to the cold.

*Outside dogs need more food because they burn more calories in order to keep warm.  Indoor dogs who get less activity in winter months may need less food in winter.

*Always bring your dog indoors for extreme weather.  Even a hearty winter dog breed like the Husky may not be able to handle an extreme ice storm or blizzard.

*Keep puppies and older dogs indoors.

*Make sure dogs always have fresh water with no ice.  Get a special heating dish or give fresh water frequently.

*Check your dog’s ears, tail, and feet for frostbite.

*Check your dog’s feet for ice.  Ice balls can form, especially if your dog has long hair around their feet.  Trimming the long hair may help.  Remove ice with a warm washcloth.  Also check their feet for cuts.

*Walking dogs on sidewalks melted with salt is okay but make sure you rinse their feet off with warm water when you get home.

*When going for walks, keep your dog on a leash at all times.  Dogs can get lost in the snow because all the scent markers have been covered.  Keeping them on a leash will also keep them from running over ice and falling through into a body of water.

*Be careful of ponds and other bodies of water.  If your dog falls in the water, call for help.  Do not go after him yourself.

*Make sure your dog is completely dry after grooming before putting them outside.

*Beware of antifreeze from cars.  Antifreeze is tasty to dogs but deadly.

*If you travel with your dog, don’t leave him alone in the car.  In summer months where your car becomes an oven, the opposite occurs in winter where your car becomes a refrigerator.

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5 Responses to “Cold Weather Tips for Dogs”

  1. Dog Life Jackets in Winter Says:

    [...] more tips on cold weather tips for dogs read this informative article from American Dog Blog ← Previous [...]

  2. Juliette Says:

    Good article and sound information, sadly very true and real about dog owners and dogs in drowning accidents in winter through falling in icy waters. I have linked to your article here from my article at http://www.edoglifejacket.com/winter-2/dog-life-jackets-in-winter/ which deals with the subject of dog and dog owner safety near frozen lakes in winter. We do advise dog owners to keep dogs on a leash anywhere near water but also advise their dogs should wear a dog life jacket if not on a leash.

  3. Sunshine Rescue Says:

    I saw a poor little dog with frostbite on his ears and toes at the shelter once – very sad. He was confiscated from his owners who made him live outside even in cold weather. You’re right that most small dogs just aren’t developed to tolerate cold. If you know someone who keeps their dog outside all the time in all extremes of weather, don’t be afraid to call the police and make an animal cruelty complaint.

  4. Things to Remember when Traveling With Your Dog in Cold Weather | Pet Auto Safety Says:

    [...] *Check out our more extensive list of cold weather tips for dogs at our American Dog Blog. [...]

  5. Top Posts Since American Dog Blog Began in September 2009 « American Dog Blog Says:

    [...] Pull No More Dog Harness in May 2011. #4 – The Scottish Terrier Dog Breed in January 2011. #5 – Cold Weather Tips for Dogs in January 2011. At this time, the most comments on one post is 5. All of the most commented posts [...]

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