Winter Care for Dogs

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Winter’s cold temperatures creates numerous concerns for responsible dog owners. Always keep the following safety measures in mind:

  • Never leave your dog outdoors in the cold for extended periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than real temperature readings.
  • Enough shelter is a requirement. Maintain your dog warm, dry and away from drafts.
  • Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog close to frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get critically injured.
  • Groom your dog on a regular basis. Your dog requires a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs might get extra cold, thus think about 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.

With the proper precautions dogs can really enjoy winter:

Here are some additional precautions:

  • Feed your dog additional calories in case he or she spends considerable time outside or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to maintain body temperature controlled, so extra calories are required.
  • Towel or blow-dry your dog in case it gets wet from rain or snow. It’s essential to dry and clean its paws, as well. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a car without appropriate precautions. In case the car engine is left on, the carbon monoxide will risk your dog’s life. In case the engine is off, the temperature in the car will get too cold.

Source: akc.org

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