Winter doesn’t have to mean no more outdoor fun for you and your furry friend, but it does mean you’ll need to take a few precautions when enjoying playtime with your pet. Here are some winter health and safety tips for your dog to help keep him feeling fine and frisky all season long.
How cold is too cold?
Even dogs with thick, fluffy coats can feel the chill if left outside in freezing temperatures, so don’t assume that just because your pal has his own fur coat that means he can be left outside all the time. When the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bring your pet inside. Even with the thickest, fluffiest coat, your dog’s nose, eyes, ears and paws are exposed to the freezing cold. Bring him in or put him in an enclosed, heated kennel to stay warm.
Puppies and older dogs
Just as you wouldn’t dream of leaving a baby or an elderly person out in the cold, your puppy or older dog won’t fare well there, either. Limit their exposure to the cold, even if they seem to enjoy it. Hypothermia could set in very quickly in small dogs, so bring them in when they start to shiver.
Watch for other hazards
Hazards you may not think about in the summer could put your pooch at risk in the winter. Chemicals used to melt ice and snow can irritate the skin on his paws, so wash them off with warm water after you take him for a walk.
If you bring your dog into the garage to get out if the cold, make sure there are no antifreeze spills or other harmful chemicals that could harm your pet. Make sure you place a bed or warm blankets on the cold concrete to give your pet a comfy place to sleep, too.