Winter – Keeping your pet warm this winter

cold-dog

Cold weather can worsen some medical conditions like arthritis. If you are worried about your dog in the cold get a good dog coat and get advice from your Vet before the bad weather really hits.

Cold tolerance is different for every dog. Bearing in mind every dogs coat is different, some have double coats (Husky) so will be able to withstand the temperature drop more than those with a Single coat (Chihuahua).

Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. If you need help please consult you Vet before bad weather sets in and you cant get to them

Give your pets several choices in where to sleep. They will move depending on whether they need more or less heat.

Cats and dogs should be kept inside as much as possible during cold weather or given a warm kennel outside. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in freezing weather.

Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes

During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that are toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down or wash your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after she/he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighbourhood.

Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
At the end of the day if its cold you arent going to want to be out too long so play it by ear and do some extra stuff inside to wear them out mentally. I will do another post on – Mental games for your Pets
Alex Tourret BSc

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