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Dogs, Quick Tips, Safety

4 Winter Safety Tips for Dogs

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

yellow lab running in snow

The temperatures outside are beginning to fall and we are officially forging into slippers and cozy blanket season. Cold winter weather is the perfect excuse to log some extra cuddle time with your pet (as if we need another excuse!), but while you may be perfectly content to stay indoors, Fido might be craving some outdoor time. Although it’s harder to get outside when the weather cools down, your dog still benefits from fresh air and exercise.

If there’s anything that can get us to abandon the comfort and warmth of our homes to trek through the winter elements, it’s our love for our pets. It’s important to keep in mind that as the seasons change, so do your dog’s needs. As fall fades into winter, here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your pup healthy and safe.

4 Winter Safety Tips for Dogs

1. Protect those paws

Paw pad protector is a must during the winter! Icy sidewalks get covered with salt and chemicals which can irritate paw pads and cause dryness and cracking. Applying paw pad protector before every outing is a vital step for maintaining healthy paws. Wipe your dog’s paws with a soft cloth when you return home to remove any snow, ice, salt, or other irritants.

2. Keep your dog leashed when necessary

We all know how much our canines love to explore and the changing seasons bring about a bounty of new sights and scents. From trees that drop nuts, fruits, and seeds to seasonal home maintenance items such as antifreeze, curious noses can find all sorts of interesting new things that can pose serious health risks if ingested.

And speaking of exploring, your dog runs a greater risk of getting lost when there is fresh snow covering the ground. This is because the snow can disguise recognizable scents and disorient your dog. The best way to keep your dog safe is through close supervision and keeping them leashed when necessary.

3. Give your dog’s skin some TLC

Dry skin isn’t just a concern for humans during the winter months. Our pets can also be plagued with dry, itchy skin due to the cold winter air and dry heat we pump through our homes. To keep your dog’s skin healthy and comfortable, always dry them with a towel immediately when they come indoors and only bathe them when necessary. Winter is a great time to consider adding a skin and coat supplement to your dog’s diet.

4. Keep an eye on the temperature

Generally speaking, if it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your dog. When the temperature falls below 40º (50º for smaller dogs and puppies), it’s best to avoid prolonged periods of time outdoors. Each dog is different, though, and it really boils down to your own pup’s limits. Certain dogs really enjoy the colder weather and can handle the lower temperatures. Shorter-coated, very young, elderly, and thin dogs tend to be more susceptible to the dangers of the cold than their heavy-coated, muscular counterparts. Always use your best judgment, and err on the side of caution.

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