Cold weather is here, making it more challenging to do things like walking, exercising or potty training your pet.
As the mercury starts to drop, you want to make sure your dog is winter-ready. That means, he’s able to stick to his normal routine, and stay safe and warm in the process. Here’s some preventative measures The Barking Lot came up with to get started so you and your dog can make the most out of the winter season.
Schedule a Routine Vet Appointment
Make sure your dog has his preventative care exam. Cold weather can worsen pre-existing conditions. So talk to your vet about coming up with a plan designed to help keep your dog as healthy as possible during the winter months.
Know Your Breed
Certain breeds are able to withstand the cold longer than others. Some pets with thick, dense fur do geat outdoors, but dogs with short, thin coats should avoid overexposure to the cold. Elderly dogs and those with serious ailments should also limit their time outdoors.
To be clear, no dog should be left outside in harsh, wintery conditions. That’s why it’s best to schedule walks and other activities according to your dog’s own needs.
Keep an Eye on Their Paws
Your dog’s paws can also be subjected to some pretty harsh chemicals and conditions. Ice and rock salt can get caught in between his toes leading to serious paw pad damage or injury. Check your pet’s feet once he’s inside. If you notice paws that are cracked or bleeding, contact your vet right away.
Certain types of flora are more commonly seen in homes during the winter months like holly, mistletoe, lilies and poinsettias. This could potentially spell trouble for your omnivorous, four-legged friend. Munching on these toxic plants could cause anything from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to low blood pressure, hallucinations and convulsions. If you do plan to use festive shrubbery as decoration, try to keep it out of your pet’s reach.
Steer Clear of Space Heaters
During the cold winter months, space heaters are an economical way to keep your home warm. While these appliances are practical and convenient, if a pets get too close, it could lead to burns or other injuries. To help prevent unnecessary accidents, try using a wall mounted heater or one that can be installed on the ceiling.
Look Out for Dry Flaky Skin
Even dogs get dry skin in the cold. Coming in from a damp environment to a dry one can cause itchy, flaky skin. Help keep your pet’s coat healthy and shiny by drying him off with a towel and using a humidifier in the home.