Winter is coming! Is your dog prepared?

October 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s cold outside here in Crown Point and while we remember to bundle ourselves up before going out in the cold we often forget that our pets might not be equipped to handle the cold weather and snow that comes along with it.  Below are some good habits to get into during the winter months to keep your dog safe.

  1. Thoroughly clean and wipe down your dogs feet, legs and tummy after going for walks.  The salt and chemicals that are used to melt snow can be very irritating to a dog’s feet.  A good pair of boots for your dog to wear out in the snow and for winter walking will protect their feet from ice and chemicals.
  2. Make sure dogs have current identification secured to collars and microchips.  Snow can make it difficult for animals to follow scents back home and are more easily lost.  Keep cats indoors.
  3. Fur keeps a dog warm,  if you normally keep their coat short consider letting it grow out a bit to help keep them warmer during cold weather.  Dogs with thin or short coats may need the added help of a sweater or coat during the winter months to stay warm.  Older dogs and dogs suffering from arthritis will also appreciate the extra warmth that a sweater can provide.
  4. Puppies are very sensitive to the cold, if you are housetraining during winter months consider paper training the dog and then transitioning outside when it gets warmer.
  5.  Keep your dogs moving.  It’s easy to let our dogs become couch potatoes in the winter. Many dogs experience muscle atrophy during the winter which can lead to injuries when spring arrives and they are not physically ready to begin running and playing all day.

Leslie Cook

A video Dr Dan took of a client’s dogs walking on a treadmill

 

Anyone can get their dogs trained to do this. The little Frenchie begs to be on the treadmill several times a day. I know this is a post about safety and these guys are usually hooked up to a safety string that pulls a kill switch that shuts off the treadmill if the dog falls. The owner usually has this on when the treadmill is running faster. However, this was a quick video at a slow pace just to show you a treadmill in action. You can see the dog can hop right up on the treadmill and run up to the front with ease at how slow it is going.

A related post about winter safety in cats –

Fall and Winter Holiday Plant Toxicity in Cats

http://www.petplace.com/cats/fall-and-winter-holiday-plant-toxicity-in-cats/page1.aspx

Flowers and plants add beauty to any holiday, and they make great holiday gifts. But if your family includes pets, you may want to learn which plants are safe and which ones you need to avoid.

About Dr Daniel Beatty
An Infopreneur with a Veterinary Medicine degree.