10 Tips To Keep Dogs Safe In Cold Weather

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1. Except for short periods of time, make sure to keep puppies and older dogs indoors. As with humans, young and old dogs are more susceptible to the effects of the cold.

2. Invest in a pet sweater for shorthaired breeds. Watch for signs that your pet is cold, such as shivering. Breeds such as greyhounds or Dobermans do not have protective fur to protect them from the elements.

3. Do not  leave pets alone in cars during cold weather months. When the engine is off, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold.

4. Dogs should not be kept outside in cold conditions. Pay attention to the thermometer: If it dips too far below freezing, it’s too cold for any dog — even those accustomed to being outside.

5. Provide indoor dogs with a warm sleeping area away from drafts.

6. Check your dog’s paws for small cuts and cracks. Consider dog boots for dogs that react negatively to walking on ice and snow. It’s also important to keep hair around the bottom of the paws trimmed. Less hair will help keep paws free of ice and snow, which can quickly ball up between footpads and create uncomfortable walking conditions for pets.

7. Provide the proper type and amount of food for the season. Dogs housed outdoors and dogs that participate in strenuous outdoor activities may require additional food during colder weather. On the other hand, indoor dogs that exercise less frequently in colder months may need less food.

8. Keep identification tags updated in the event your dog runs away.

9. Maintain your pet’s grooming schedule. Regular brushing keeps your dog’s coat prepared for the cold. However, when you bathe your pet, be sure to dry their coat thoroughly before allowing them to go outside.

10. Do not suddenly house an indoor dog outdoors. Dogs require a month or more (as seasons change) to become accustomed to lower winter temperatures.

Source: Dog and Kennel Magazine

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