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» Cold Weather Care for Dogs

How Did I Do It? > Pets > Cold Weather Care for Dogs
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Your pet, much as you do, has his or her own requirements for cold weather. Animals by and large should be family members, and be part of the inside world whenever possible, so that they are well cared for and incorporated into family life.

Make sure that your pet has a warm sleeping area, that is away from drafty spots and raised above the floor just a few inches. A pillow or a warmer fleece blanket would be ideal to keep them cozy during winter months. If your pet is sensitive to the cold, or is an older dog, with joint problems,a joint supplement and a thicker pad or blanket is in order.

When you take your dog outdoors during wintertime, make sure that you wipe their paws and tummy when you come back inside. Walking outdoors can bring your furry friend into contact with salt, ice melting medium as well as in some cases even automobile coolant. If brought inside and not wiped down this can become a source of illness when they begin to lick the ice and snow from themselves as they usually do.

On snow or ice, particularly during a snow storm, don’t let your dog run off leash. The ASPCA says that about twice as many pets are lost during the wintertime as are lost during the summer, largely due to the fact that they cannot in many cases smell as well on the snow and ice as they can on the soil and earth. Make sure that your pet always wears an ID tab, which is important at any time, but particularly during winter months.

If your dog spends a lot of time outside, make sure that you increase his food as well as the protein content of it to keep him healthy.

For one reason or another, there are those who keep their pets in kennels outdoors at some point, or full time which includes winter months. While this is something we absolutely don’t recommend for obvious reasons, when this is a necessity, certain steps are also necessary to assure their good health and comfort.

For a pet who stays in an outside kennel, make certain that he or she has what they need to maintain their body heat and that their water is heated in such a way that it is available to them at all times and remains unfrozen.

Make sure that the dog house or kennel you choose is well insulated, is raised away from the ground and is equipped with a floor as well as some means for the dog to warm himself, such as hay, dog bedding and a door, which may be even a flap of carpet that will insulate the inside of the house and prevent snow or ice from entering.

When the temperature dips below 20, bring him inside. It certainly isn’t comfortable and for him to stay warm, particularly if he is an older animal will be very difficult.

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