Keep your dog safe in the snow with these pet winter safety tips. Learn what dog winter gear to buy and affordable ways to keep your pet safe.
Winter is here! And while it might be a beautiful, snow-covered wonderland outside, it can also be deceivingly dangerous... especially for your furry friends. Whether your dog loves to play in the snow or would rather stay indoors, here, find 7 tips for keeping your pup safe all season long.
Your dog's fur coat is one of the things that keeps them warm in the winter months. If you usually shave your dog's coat in the warmer months or prefer a shorter haircut, hold off until springtime. A longer coat will generally provide more warmth.
If your dog doesn't have much of a coat or tends to get cold pretty easily, invest in a winter wardrobe. A waterproof jacket, fleece sweater, or winter snowsuit can work wonders for small and short-haired dog breeds.
Like humans, dogs can suffer from frostbite, too. Their ears and tails are particularly prone! When it's super cold out, minimize the time they spend in the snow by keeping walks short and sweet and speeding up potty breaks. Shovel a patch of grass near your front door so they can go potty without trekking too far in the snow.
Your pup might love frolicking in the snow, but keep a close eye on them. If you're not in a fenced-in area, keep them on a leash - in deep snow, it's easy for dogs to lose their scent and get lost. And if you're in your backyard, make sure to clear snow away from the fence to prevent your dog from creating an escape route. Additionally, keep your pup away from any roof overhangs to prevent injury from icicles or falling snow.
Your pup's paws are especially vulnerable in the winter months - sidewalks are covered in rock salt and chemicals that are damaging to their paw pads. Use a paw protectant before you go outside, or suit them up in a set of dog booties. Before you head back inside, rinse off your dog's feet in warm water and moisturize with a paw balm.
Antifreeze is even more dangerous than rock salt for pets - many will be enticed by the sweet-tasting liquid and try to consume it. If your dog ingests antifreeze, they'll be in a life-threatening position and will need to go to the vet immediately. If you spill antifreeze or windshield fluid, clean it up immediately. Better yet, use a product that contains propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.
Dry off your dog completely when you come in from the snow... especially before they relocate to their bed or the sofa. You don't want these surfaces to get damp! Use a towel to wipe down their paws and stomach, and, if they'll let you, use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to finish drying them off.
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