How to make Snow Days fun for Everyone Print
Written by Brian Adam   
Thursday, 25 November 2021 06:11

Here are some great tips to remember when playing with your pups in the great outdoors:

  1. Frostbite is your dog's winter hazard. To prevent frostbite on its ears, tail & feet, don't leave them out for long periods of time.  Be attentive to their body temperature, especially during EXTREME WEATHER.
  2. Adequate shelter is a necessity. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles & uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.
  3. Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds, as they could slip or jump in and be seriously injured.
  4. Groom your dog regularly.  A well-groomed coat will help keep them properly insulated. Short-or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold; so consider a sweater or coat. Long-haired dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal & cleaning. When trimming, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate areas of the foot.
  5. Feed  them additional calories, if they do spend alot of time outdoors or are a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so additional calories are necessary.
  6. Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. It's important to also dry & clean its paws - as this helps avoid cut or cracked pads. Some petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking.

VERY IMPORTANT:  At no time should you leave your dog alone in a car, without proper precautions.  If the car engine is left on, carbon monoxide could endanger its' life.  If the engine is off, the inside temperature will get TOO COLD for them.  No one likes to be uncomfortable, especially older dogs, prone to arthritis.

It's important to pay special attention to their well-being during these months.  Remember the following health concerns:

  1. ANTI-FREEZE is highly poisonous. Although it smells & tastes good to dogs, it's lethal.
  2. ROCK SALT may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse & dry your dog's feet after a walk.

SNOW is not a substitute for FRESH WATER.  So make sure their bowls are re-filled regularly.  Heated/Outdoor water bowls also help keep it from freezing.  Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated now, as in summer. Snow is no substitute. Like people, dogs seem to be more susceptible to illness in the winter. Watch for any symptoms; do not use over-the-counter medications on your dog without consulting your vet.

Lastly: Be very careful of supplemental heat sources. Fireplaces & portable heaters can severely burn them. Make sure fireplaces have screens & keep heaters out of reach.