7 Winter Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe This Winter
The temperature outside is starting to drop…
and chances are, if you’re feeling the changes, so is your dog. As responsible Owners, it’s important to take special care of our dogs the same way we do ourselves. You can never be too prepared to keep your dog safe this winter.
So with that being said here are seven helpful tips…
1. Keep your dog away from cold drafts.
Tiled and uncarpeted floors can become very cold in the winter and feel more like an iced pond. Take care to cover any uncarpeted floors in your home with blankets or pads to keep the surface warm for your pet. Trust us when we say they’ll appreciate their relaxation time on them much more!
2. Don’t leave your dog alone outside for extended periods of time.
Even if you’re letting your dog out in the backyard, it’s not safe to leave them alone in the cold temps for too long. Always accompany him to make sure he doesn’t have ice stuck in between his paws if the temps get that low. This can cause cuts and cracked pads which make walking very painful. If your dog does get cracked paws, rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly may help soften and soothe paw pads. Another product I highly recommend is called Pad-Tuff (Spelling?) which we frequently used for our military K-9’s to navigate any terrain.
3. Limit time outside in general.
Just like humans, if dogs spend too much time outdoors in frigid weather, the possibility exists to get frostbite or hypothermia. Less is more when things get cold so divide the normal amount of time you’d spend outdoors into shorter sessions.
4. Buy short haired dogs a coat.
Hairless and short-haired dogs are more likely to feel colder as temperatures drop. They may all be ancestors of the Wolf but along the way a few lost the bulky coat. This goes for the small breeds too! If you own a Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher, for example, it’s important to invest in a winter coat for them. Something stylish is a plus or you’ll have them looking like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” which is a no-no.
5. Don’t leave your dog alone in the car.
This is not something you should do ever but even more so in extreme temps. It may seem as if this rule only applies in the summer, but the cold can cause the same amount of harm to your pet. Always have your dog supervised in a car even if you’re running a quick errand. A cold car can quickly become a freezer more suited to store popsicles.
6. Make sure to rinse and dry your dog’s paws after a walk.
This one of the most overlooked tips out there! Rock salt that is used to melt possible ice on sidewalks will irritate paw pads. Granted we live in Florida but it’s still a good rule of thumb to warm those paws. Do you like walking around on cold, wet bare feet? Didn’t think so. Make sure to thoroughly cleanse your dog’s paws after each walk. The sooner you do the faster it becomes another good habit your dog would thank you for if they could talk.
7. Watch out for spilled antifreeze or other substances on driveways.
Some dogs are drawn to the taste and smell of antifreeze, but it’s quite deadly if ingested. Once again we are Floridians but better safety aware than sorry. Be on the lookout for possible antifreeze spillage on driveways and the streets when out with your dog. That also goes for the many spilled treats from holiday cheer that also mess up canine tummies.
I hope these tips help and that you and your stay safe this winter! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!
We offer mobile dog training services to Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Gulf Breeze. Milton, Niceville, Crestview, Freeport, 30A, Pensacola, Panama City Beach, and Perdido Key.