Basics of Winter Dog Care: Dangers and Prevention

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ice on furEven if the holiday season is over, it shouldn’t stop you from keeping a close eye on your pooch, simply because winter hasn’t ended. Though snow-laden sidewalks and pavements may open the way for snowy fun, there are a number of things that you should take into account. It would not take a rocket scientist to deduce that the freezing cold is dangerous to your pet, which is why you need to be able to take measures in order to protect it from dangerous situations this season. Let’s cut to the chase and find out what these situations are and the ways to prevent them.

 

Antifreeze

 

Since families today may start using their cars in order to commute, the use of antifreeze on it may become a necessity. Basically, this chemical’s primary composition is ethanol glycol, a sweet smelling and tasting yet toxic substance. Its primary use is what its name suggests – it removes the ice and prevents it from whatever it is applied on, may it be cars or the sidewalks. Due to its appealing smell, it attracts dogs (and other pets like cats for that matter) and causes them to lick and ingest the substance, causing poisoning. Here are some ways in order to avoid antifreeze poisoning:

 

  • Instead of spilling it over an area, try to use spray bottles in applying it instead, given that doing so will minimize your use and will eliminate the possibility of puddles forming in the area.
  • Some pets will go out of their way just to consume antifreeze. That said, be sure to store it in a secure area, like a locked cupboard or cabinet.
  • Never let your dog drink on puddles outside the home. Not only is it nonsensical, it is dangerous as well.

 

Ice on fur

 

Certain dog breeds last longer outdoors than others. Huskies, Mastiffs, Akitas and German Shepherds last longer than Pugs and Dobermans, given that the former breeds are furry and specialized for winter while the latter’s coats are pretty short. That said however, long haired dog breeds are more susceptible to having ice on fur, which could lead to hypothermia and other complications. It is primarily caused by melted snow residue which could be taken from outdoor excursions. Here are some ways in order to avoid this from happening:

 

  • Before letting Fido inside, be sure to brush his (let’s assume that he’s a male) fur first in order to remove fur that may have latched on the fur.
  • If the fur seems to be rather damp, use a hairdryer and a brush. Keep on blow drying until the fur is completely bone dry.
  • Aside from the fur, remember to also check and remove snow on the foot pads.
  • Though winter coats and accessories for pets may seem to be a waste of money, they are actually pretty functional. You may want to try purchasing some if you’ve got the extra cash.
  • Lastly, limit Fido’s time outdoors. Once you feel cold, he might be feeling cold as well.

 

Food and water aspectsSiberian Husky (Canis familiaris) puppy running in snow

 

Contrary to popular belief, feeding your dog extra calories leading up to and during winter is a BIG NO-NO. Why? Well, people might tell you that Fido needs an extra layer of fat to keep warm as the snow starts falling. Well, actually, feeding it less food is actually recommended. This is so because cold temperatures encourage lazy behavior, making calories meaningless. Fido won’t be able to burn off the excess fat due to him being lazy most of the time, paving the way for obesity. Now that’s settled, here are a number of things that you should take note of:

 

  • During winter, try to feed  Fido with dry food, given that wet dog food gets cold pretty quickly.
  • Change their drinking water often since obviously, water can reach freezing temperatures during this season.
  • Feeding them less food may cause them to get hungry, which is why you should feed them oftentimes and in small amounts at that.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Jenny Dwight is a pet owner and also a pet care writer. She likes sharing ideas about the right ways of taking care pets at home.  As an experienced pet owner, she is already comfortable in dealing with anything when it comes to animal care and her experiences in the animal care clinic ( http://jacarandaanimalhospital.net/ ) where she worked before made her understand better each individual pet’s needs. She is expert in giving animal medication, feeding and bathing pets.

 

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