When winter rolls around, we start winterizing our homes, yards, and cars, but our four-legged companions need some winter-proofing as well. Here is a list of five tips on how to prepare your pooch for the snowy season.
Keep the pet house comfortable and cozy
When the temperatures plummet, outdoor pets need a comfy dog house that will keep them warm and cozy. The best way to optimize your dog’s house for the winter season would be to provide a layer of cedar shavings first to help insulate the bottom of their house and create a cozy environment. Also, rely on paving stones to raise your dog’s house a couple of inches from the ground. Like humans, pets also like to snug up when it’s cold, so be sure to include a blanket for added comfort. Your dog will be burning more calories during winter, so make sure there’s enough food and water they can easily access and use plastic bowls instead of steel ones since they won’t freeze up as easily.
Keep their paws and ears dry and warm
Just like humans need to layer their clothing in winter, our furry friends need some additional layers of protection as well. Dog booties are a great way to protect their fragile paws. However, if your dog doesn’t want to wear these then make sure you trim the hair on their paws – this will help prevent the ice from building up between their pads. Their ears will also get wet when they play in the snow, so be sure to dry their ears as soon as you’re back inside to avoid ear infections. Depending on your dog’s breed and hair length, a cozy winter coat should be considered.
Take the necessary steps to prevent winter health risks
Aside from frostbite, hypothermia, and ear infections, there are a number of things to watch out for when the cold weather arrives. In winter, roads and sidewalks are covered with salt and other chemical de-icers, and these could be harmful to your dog’s health. Therefore, be sure to wipe or rinse their paws after going for a walk and apply a paw salve to keep their pads from cracking and drying out. Regardless of your dog’s age, the risk of accidents is increased during the winter season. This is why you need to get the right insurance cover for your pet in advance – that way, you’ll have peace of mind in case your pet suddenly needs to see a vet.
Pet-proof your home if you intend to take your dog inside
Whether it’s because of the limited square footage or some other reason, pet owners can’t always afford to take their dog inside during the winter. Those who can, however, need to take necessary measures to ensure their home is pet-proofed before they let the dog in. Keep an eye on potential hazards such as burning candles, fireplaces, and heaters – they can cause burns and your dog might inhale the smoke, so find a way to prevent your dog from getting close to them. Houseplants are another thing to watch out for before letting the dog inside, as some of them might be poisonous to our furry friends.
Beware of the dangers lurking outside
Even though your interiors might be optimized for pets, there are some precautions to take in your outdoor space as well. Antifreeze is commonly used during winter, but even as little as a teaspoon can be lethal to dogs. That is why you need to keep your antifreeze tucked away where your dog can’t reach it. It’s best to not let your pooch in the areas like the garage and the driveway where they can sniff and lick antifreeze. In case you notice some of the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning such as vomiting, drooling, and lethargy, waste no time and take your dog to the vet immediately.
Dogs are a part of the family, which is why they need to be kept safe and secure from harsh winter conditions. With these tips in mind, you’ll ensure your furry friend is warm and protected until the cold months pass and the spring awakens.