4 Ways to Help Your Pup Through the Cold Winter Weather

 

When the temp drops, it's important to be mindful of your pup's needs. Not all dogs (and dog breeds) handle the cold well and it's important that we help them not only stay healthy (did you know dogs can get pneumonia?) but also that they are getting enough rest and nourishment. Here are some tips for helping keep everyone healthy.

 

#1 Keep your dogs warm
You might think that it's just common sense, but many people forget that if you feel it’s too cold, chances are it’s too cold for your dog! There some breeds can withstand colder temperatures, however most dogs are accustomed to indoor temperatures and don’t want to be outside for long periods of time.

It's also good to remember that dogs with less furry coats, smaller dogs, and those closer to the ground could benefit from a winter sweater and possibly some extra blankets to snuggle in at night.

This is very important to remember if your dogs are really young, really old  or have a medical condition. Remember that dogs love to burrow so making sure there's extra clean bedding on any and all beds is important.

If you are out exploring snowy landscapes make sure you have the right gear to keep yourself and your pup safe. 

  • Hypothermia can result from extended exposure to cold and is a life-threatening condition. Watch your dog for signs of shivering, shallow breathing, weak pulse or lethargy. If you see these signs give the vet a call right away.
  • Frostbite is a temperature related tissue injury that most commonly occurs on ears, tails, scrotum or feet. Signs include discolored skin (very red, pale, or grayish) swelling, or blisters. Check your pet often for signs of frostbite which may be hidden beneath fur.

#2 Grooming
When your dog comes in from the outside it's important to clean their paws. You'll wan to make sure you get both the underside and between the pads.

This is really important because if your pup has been out in the snow, salt and chemical ice melters can irritate and burn your pup’s paws. Plus many of these substances can also be fatal if ingested so you want to make sure you clean them before your pup starts licking them.

There's no need for a full bath to clean them. In fact, since the cold winter season can dry out your dog’s skin and create irritation and itchiness a nice clean towel will do the trick. You many need to use a little coconut oil on the pads of their paws if the cold weather is really drying them out. Also check for small cuts from sharp pieces of ice. 

#3 Watch the H2O and Nutrition
Puddles this time of year are a danger to dogs because they may contain ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested. 

So no drinking from winter puddles especially in the drive way or on the street!

It's also good to know that larger bodies of water like lakes and streams are also good to steer clear of this time of year. You can run into melting, thin ice, or even rising water levels which can create a dangerous environment for your pup and you!

It's also good to know that when your dog is outdoors, they will burn more calories (up to 30%) and may need extra food. Make sure you keep this in consideration if you've spent a couple hours outside enjoying a winter hike or other activity.

#4 Extreme Winter Weather 
It seems these days our extreme and unpredictable weather conditions are catching many off guard. If you are out you just never know when a storm might hit or when weather might prevent you from going out.

Always keep an emergency pet survival kit and lots of TurboPUP Bars so you can have a healthy food supply on hand no matter what. It's also a good idea to keep extra medication (if your dog takes regular meds) and even some extra bottled water on hand in case you get stuck. Most experts say you should have an emergency supply of food for your pet (and yourself) in your car, home, and even in an emergency or Bug Out Bag in case you need to leave quickly.

 


Richel Newborg
Richel Newborg

Author