Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of winter left. While most dogs love to play in the snow, you should know the pitfalls and dangers of exposure to the elements. Trap Falls Kennel Club in No. Fairfield County, promotes responsible dog ownership and adheres to AKC guidelines to promote the care and well-being of our best furry friends. Here are some handy guidelines to protect your pup from the cold:
*Don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time. Wind chill makes the days colder than actual temperature reading and a dog’s furry coat does not protect him from low temperatures. Frostbite can occur quickly on ears, tail and feet.
*Provide sufficient shelter. Keeping your dog warm, dry and away from drafts will keep her healthy. Tiles and uncarpeted areas get very cold in the winter, so have blankets and pads for your pup to sit and sleep on.
*Use caution when walking or playing with your dog near frozen bodies of water – one slip or jump in the water could cause injury.
*Grooming your dog regularly keeps his coat properly insulated. Small and short-haired dogs can get extra cold when temperatures plummet, so consider a coat or sweater. If you have a long-haired dog, keep the hair around the toes trimmed to make cleaning and snow removal easier.
*If you have a working dog or a pooch that likes to exercise and run on wintry days, make sure you give her more food/more calories to maintain the added energy and keep the body temperature regulated.
*Towel or blow-day your dog if he gets wet from rain and snow. It’s really important to dry and clean the paws too. This helps avoid small cuts and cracked pads. As with people, a little petroleum jelly applied may soften the pads and prevent future cracking.
*Don’t leave your dog along in a car longer than a few minutes when it icy cold. Keeping the engine running is just as harmful, since the carbon monoxide created will endanger your pup’s life.
*Make sure there aren’t remains of antifreeze in your garage or driveway. While dogs will be attracted to the smell and taste, antifreeze is poisonous and lethal.
*Rock salt used to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks, is irritating to a dog’s footpads, so be sure to rinse off and dry your dogs feet after walking in salted areas.
*Fireplaces and portable heaters can harm a dog if they’re in too close a proximity.
*Dogs, like people, are more susceptible to illness in the winter, so take note if you see any suspicious symptoms in your furry friend.
*Don’t use over-the-counter medications on your dog without consulting your veterinarian.