- Trim the fur on the sides of your dogs paws and between the toes to minimize ice and snow accumulation.
- Your dog’s fur insulates him against the temperatures. Groom your dog regularly during winter to keep his coat in top shape. A well groomed coat can help a dog to hold onto his body heat better.
- Be careful with space heaters and fireplaces. When cold, dogs will seek out heat sources and may sleep too close to them. You wouldn't want your pooch to get burned.
- Dress your pet, especially if she has short or thin fur. Not only do they look cute, but a sweater, coat or even an old shirt will help to retain body heat and keep her dry. Walmart carries dog sweaters in all sizes from $6-$9 so you don't have to spend a ton, and they're cute.
- Use a pet-friendly ice melter on sidewalks, driveways and patios instead of the regular rock salt or other chemical ice melters. We like Safe Paw (we get it at Sams club. They usually have the best price)
- Massaging petroleum jelly or a Paw Balm into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and other chemicals.
- Better yet, get a set of doggy boots. Boots help minimize contact with salt crystals and chemical ice-melting agents. They keep the paws clean so you don't have to wash them off when they come inside. Just slip the boots back off and your done. No more worrying about them licking salt from their paws. Plus, it's really funny the first time a dog wears a pair! (videotape that!) These are the ones my dog has.
- If you can't use boots, wash and dry your pet's feet to remove any chemicals after walking so they don't lick their paws.
- Rub coconut oil into your dogs paws to heal dryness and prevent cracking of the pads.
- If the weather's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for them too. The colder it gets the less time they should be outside. People tend to think that animals can handle winter weather because of their fur. This only works if they were acclimated slowly like an outdoors only dog (who should still have adequate shelter from the elements) With inside dogs their fur does not grow in thicker over winter and they really don't have that much protection from the cold, especially short haired breeds. Dogs are susceptible to both frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside as much as possible.
- I know it's not as big of a problem as it is in summer, but fleas and ticks are still around in winter. Don't skimp of the flea preventatives just because it's chilly out. This is especially important if you go to dog parks where other dogs will be playing. It only takes seconds for fleas to hop off one host and find another so make sure your dog is protected.
- Keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced dog park area. Many dogs become lost in the snow because they can lose your scent easily and become lost as they try to find you.
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