Many people consider their dogs to be pretty resilient creatures—and generally speaking, they are. But for those who live in colder climates, it pays to think about the safety of those four-legged family members as winter weather draws near. After all, if you’re uncomfortable, you may not be the only one.
The Humane Society of the United States offers some common sense advice and some tips you may not have thought about.
Staying cozy. Your buddy will probably be happiest if he can spend most of the cold winter inside with you. He’ll need to be let out frequently and given the chance to exercise, but snoozing on his bed or relaxing near the fire much of the time will probably keep him healthy and content. You might invest in a few long-lasting chew toys to provide stimulation.
Winterizing a shelter. If your dog needs to spend part of the day outdoors, give thought to making her shelter as cozy as you can. The size should be large enough for her to move around in but small enough to hold some warmth. It should be dry and free of drafts, and a few inches off the ground is best. Cover the doorway with a flap of heavy material—preferably waterproof—and use straw for an insulating, disposable layer of bedding.
Cover the doorway with a flap of heavy material—preferably waterproof—and use straw for an insulating, disposable layer of “bedding.”
Keeping energy up. You probably know that pets that spend time outdoors need plenty of food and water to keep their metabolism running and stay warm. Don’t forget to check the water dish to make sure it’s not frozen, and use plastic instead of metal unless you want to risk a stuck tongue!
Thinking ahead. After a long hot summer, it may be easy to forget a few hazards particular to winter. One is antifreeze—be sure your dog can’t get anywhere near this toxic product. Also, if you walk your dog on roads treated with salt or chemicals and she doesn’t have her own pair of boots, be sure to wipe her feet with a damp cloth afterward so she doesn’t ingest substances she shouldn’t.
Winter weather is just around the corner for many of us, and some areas of the country have already seen their first snow. Now is a great time to get prepared to have a safe, happy season with your best friend.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “Great Gifts For Dog Lovers” here.
Do you have and your pup have a snowy winter? How do you cope? Share below!