It’s that time of year again! Temperatures are dropping, and the wind is blowing stronger and colder. It’s important that we discuss how to keep your dog safe this winter in Seattle. There are many things you can do to help your furry friend get through the cold winter months. Keep reading this blog for more information.
Keep Your Dog Safe This Winter With Coats and Sweaters
Who says you can’t be warm AND fashion-forward? Dressing your dog in a jacket or sweater this winter will definitely help keep them warm while you are out on your walks. There are certain breeds of dogs that can tolerate the cold much better than others. If your dog has a short coat, giving them an extra layer will be really helpful for them. You can also invest in a pair of dog booties to protect their paws from the cold ice and snow.
Watch Out For Dry, Cracked Paw Pads
Just like us, our furry friends need to keep the skin on their bodies moisturized. Of course, your pet doesn’t require lotion or anything too serious, however, their paw pads are exposed to everything they walk on. Over time, you might notice your dog’s paw pads getting dry and rough. This is a common condition, but it should be treated immediately. This can be very uncomfortable for your dog. They may want to lick their paw pads often which will make the problem worse. To avoid it, apply a layer of petroleum jelly, or a paw protector wax before heading out on walks to create a protective barrier between their paw and the ground.
If your dog has dry, rough paws that don’t get better after moisturizing seek veterinary care right away.
Know The Symptoms of Frostbite and Hypothermia
Keeping your dog outside for too long can, unfortunately, result in frostbite or hypothermia. It is important to check the temperature before you head out so you can decide how long you should be outside with your dog. Both of these conditions are really serious, so to keep your dog safe, it is still important to know the signs and symptoms.
If you notice your dog is shivering uncontrollably, their skin turns blue, pain to the affected areas, or swelling in the affected areas, those are clear signs of frostbite. You must get your dog to a warm place immediately and seek veterinary care right away.
Hypothermia will result in shivering, whining, and in more severe cases: slowed heart rate, slow breathing and even death.
You can evaluate your dogs’ symptoms by looking at their extremities, which are exposed to the cold the most. If their ears, tail and paws feel very cold to the touch then it’s time to get back inside.
When The Weather is Too Cold, Keep Your Pets Inside!
The bottom line here is that if the temperatures are too cold for you, they are probably too cold for your pet. We know that your dogs need to go outside to potty so be sure to use the tips above to keep your dog safe during their bathroom breaks. Exercise is an important part of your dogs’ daily routine, so try to find fun games to play inside while you wait out the cold temperatures. For example, you can work on reinforcing your dogs’ basic obedience training. If you need help reinforcing training, you can fill out our form here, and we will create a training package specifically for your dog!
Alternatively, you can set up an obstacle course in your living room for your dog to explore, or even play fetch in the hallway! Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring, especially when you are with your best friend.
Fortunately, the cold weather will come to an end! We just need to get through these next couple of months safely. Be sure to also create a nice warm place for your dog to rest after your outings. As always if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!