Top Winter Dog Safety Tips: Frequently Asked Questions Part I
The sight of ice and snow can motivate even dedicated fitness lovers from stepping outside. But what about your furry friend? We all still need physical activity and fun. However, dog owners are not always sure how to take care of their pets during winters.
In this winter dog safety guide, we’ll answer all questions you may have about the safety of your pet.
We have broken this winter dog safety guide into three parts to cover all topics.
Pet Safe Ice Melt
Ques #1: Aren’t Dogs Born To Handle Ice And Snow?
While some breeds and mixes can handle snow, not all dogs are meant to bear extreme weather conditions.
Huskies, Newfies, German Shepherds, and Alaskan Malamutes are some of the breeds that can handle ice and snow due to the presence of thick fur. Some breeds even have thick ears and uniquely-shaped feet to protect against harsh weather conditions, but not all dogs are born this way.
Despite this, even these breeds should be kept indoors and not be allowed to be outside especially since every dog is an individual no matter what breed it is. Pay special attention to your pet and keep an eye on how he or she reacts to cold.
Ques #2: How Much Should I Feed My Dog During The Winter Season?
This question can be a little tricky to answer. First of all, don’t feed your dog more just because it is colder outside. How much to feed your pet depends on a variety of factors including how active your dog is and how much time your pet spends outdoors.
Increase your dog’s calorie intake very slightly if you feel he’s been spending a lot of time playing. It is natural for mammals, including dogs, to burn more calories in winters to regulate their body temperature. However, the problem is that most dogs get ‘lazy’ during winters.
Since owners are usually homebound during winters, dogs also tend to spend more time sitting at home. If such is the case, then you might consider reducing the quantity of food you give to your pet as not doing so might cause your pet to gain weight. This rule, however, does not apply to puppies.
Ques #3: How To Care For Dogs With Special Needs?
Dogs on medication, puppies, older dogs and dogs with medical conditions require attention during the snow season.
Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism can affect a dog’s ability to regulate body temperature. Plus, ice can be a major risk for older dogs. This is why we encourage you to use ice melt to remove snow from your dog’s path to reduce the risk.
This might sound a little tricky but it is very easy to use ice melt to remove snow. Check out our How to Use Ice Melt to Remove Snow guide for more tips. It might also be a good idea to quickly dry your dog after you return home. Moreover, consider giving a hot-water bottle to your pet as a bed partner.
Ques #4: Why Are Dogs In My Neighborhood Covered In Little Boots And Coats?
The answer is simple: because it’s cold. Some breeds such as Chihuahuas, Weimaraners, and Greyhounds have low body fat, which makes it difficult for them to bear the cold.
Similarly, some breeds like Poodles and the Shih Tzu do not have very thick fur. Such dogs need special clothing and accessories to protect against harsh weather conditions.
Consider wrapping your dog in a sweater and buying a pair of shoes to ensure your furry friend remains healthy.
Got more questions? Check the second part of our top winter dog safety guide.
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