Since it is now winter I want to remind you to make sure your dogs are cats are warm if they are outside. Investing in a sweater or jacket for your furry friends can save their lives. If it’s very snowy/icy then please consider booties for their paws. Ice can stick to their paws and get stuck between their pads making their pads sore.
The American Kennel Club gives the following tips
Winter Care for Canines
Winter’s cold air brings many concerns for responsible dog owners. Keep the following precautions in mind:
- Don’t leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your dog’s body temperature, and limit its time outdoors.
- Adequate shelter is a necessity. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.
- Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get seriously injured.
- Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat. Long-haired dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal and cleaning. If you do the trimming, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate area of the foot.
- Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so additional calories are necessary.
- Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean its paws, too. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking.
- Don’t leave your dog alone in a car without proper precautions. If the car engine is left on, the carbon monoxide will endanger your dog’s life. If the engine is off, the temperature in the car will get too cold.