If your dog is like most, he spends his days romping around the backyard and sniffing every tree he can on your walks around town. But now that temperatures have started to drop, how cold is too cold for your pup?
While every dog is different, most need to take precautions against cold winds, dry air, and fallen ice melt.
Winter Safety and Your Dog
1. Just like us, they need a coat.
Unless your dog has a naturally thick coat, like a Husky or Newfie, they may need a doggy coat or sweater before venturing outside. Small dogs who stand close to the ground, those with short hair or fur, and older dogs are vulnerable to the cold, so make sure they’re not outside for too long.
2. Clean their paws when you get inside.
Lots of cities lay down ice melt before a snowfall or exceptionally cold day. If this salt gets stuck on your pup’s feet, it can damage their pads. Their health can also be jeopardized if they try to lick salt off their feet, so your best bet is to wipe their paws as soon as they come in or buy them booties.
3. Limit your time spent outdoors.
Unless they’re part of the small percentage of heavy-coated northern breeds who thrive in low temperatures, you should limit your dog’s time outside in the cold. Small, short-haired breeds are especially susceptible to frostbite on their paw pads, tail tips, and earflaps.
4. Keep them moving.
Many dogs love to play in the snow, so there’s no need to completely cut them off from the winter fun. When you do go outside, make sure your furry friend is walking, jumping, or running. If you notice them standing around, it means they’re probably ready to go back inside.
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