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How to Protect Your Dog in the Cold Winter Months

How to Protect Your Dog in the Cold Winter Months

Your dog may have a warm fur coat, but that doesn’t mean they are protected from the dangers of winter! While some dogs do better than others, they all face a certain level of risk when the temperatures dip. Even if you live in a warm climate, if the weather gets chillier than your pup is used to, there are increased risks for hypothermia, especially in small and short-haired breeds.

We know you want your dog to be safe and healthy this season. Here are a few of our expert tips to keep them feeling cozy all winter long!

Proper Grooming

A proper winter grooming routine is essential for keeping your dog looking and feeling its best this season. Keeping up with your dog’s regular bath schedule is a must, but you need to take extra care when drying them. Never let your dog air dry, as the temperature could feel colder to them than it does to you. We recommend blow drying your dog on a low heat setting or invest in a special dog blow dryer that is designed for quicker drying without burning their sensitive skin. Your safest bet is always to schedule an appointment with a professional dog groomer who will be able to safely groom your dog and has access to more of the care supplies that they need.

Protect Their Paws

In addition to making sure your pup’s coat is properly groomed, you also need to make sure their paws are protected. Hair naturally grows around their paw pads and toes. When this gets to be too long, the excessive fur can hurt them and also make them less tolerant to winter conditions. In very cold climates, these furs can freeze and become frost bitten. That is why it is essential that you trim them regularly. But if you’re like most people and the thought of putting scissors that close to your dog scares you, especially if they are high-energy, it is always safer to ask your veterinarian or a certified groomer to trim their paw furs for you.

Bundle Up

You wouldn’t go outside on a cold winter day without a jacket, so don’t let your pet go without one either! Puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to cold than adult dogs, but they all still need to be kept warm. Luckily, you can find a great range of different size pet sweaters and jackets online or at your local pet store. If the temps are below freezing, we recommend layering up with a sweater and then a jacket. You may need to size up when buying your dog a jacket to accommodate for the clothing and possible harness keeping them warm underneath. If your dog’s paws are particularly sensitive or they suffer from excessive licking and/or drying, try covering them up with socks or booties that can be worn to protect from the cold and stop further skin drying.

Be Aware of Hazards

As we change our daily habits to accommodate for the cold, we also change the potential hazards facing our pets. Things like fireplaces and candles make the cold winter months cozier, but they pose a huge safety threat for unaware pets. Antifreeze is another common winter hazard, as it can leak from cars and poison pets. Finally, poinsettias are a popular winter plant, especially close to Christmas time. While they may be beautiful, they are also poisonous to dogs. We recommend keeping them up on a high table or shelf where dogs cannot reach them or refrain from buying them entirely. You could also buy fake poinsettias and have them for years to come, all while keeping your dog safe from possible poisoning.

Love it or hate it, winter is back and the colder weather is upon us! With it comes lots of things that we need to remember daily to keep our pets safe. If you plan on traveling this winter season, especially to a colder climate, it’s a good idea to keep your dog closer to home at a trusted pet boarding facility. Always look ahead at the weather a few days in advance to plan ahead if the temperatures look like they are going to be uncomfortably cold for your pet. Whatever climate you are in this winter season, be mindful of the risks and protect your dog!


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