We all know how essential regular walks are to your dog’s health and happiness but now that winter is upon us there are extra precautions that you need to take to ensure your best friend stays safe and avoids the pitfalls that can come with the cold, dark weather.
There’s A Chill In The Air
Keep your dog warm during your walks by ensuring that they have the protection from the cold air, just like you do.
- Short-haired and elderly dogs in particular benefit from the added warmth of a sweater. The more coverage the better and make sure that it covers their belly.
- If walking at night, consider a sweater or jacket for your friend that has reflective material sewn in. The nights are longer and it can be very difficult for cars to see them.
- Boots will prevent those large snow and ice balls from collecting in their foot pads and their feet from direct contact with the sub-zero ground beneath them.
- As soon as you both get home from your walk, dry them off to remove any snow and ice from their body and feet. The rubbing action will also serve to help warm-up your friend. Make sure to remove any snowballs from their foot pads very carefully with your fingers as this can be a sensitive region.
All of that road salt that is great for keeping you safe from driving can also be quite bothersome. Not only does it discolour your shoes but it can be much more dangerous for your pet, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
- Boots can prevent the salt from burying into your dog’s foot pads. They’re not just for keeping snow out.
- Chemicals such as road salts, calcium chloride and antifreeze find their way onto roads and sidewalks everywhere in the winter. Ensure that when you wipe your friend down when returning home you pay attention to all exposed areas. If these chemicals are ingested through licking it could mean a trip to the emergency veterinary clinic.
- Consider a bowl of warm water and a cloth by the door when you return to wash your pet’s feet.
- Store any and all winter care chemicals where your dog cannot gain access. Ingesting considerable amounts of any of these may be fatal. Dangerously, antifreeze smells and tastes sweet so is difficult for your pet to ignore.
Take care this winter season and may all of your family stay safe and healthy.