What's a Dog to do When it is Cold Outside?
It’s bitter cold outside. The kind of cold where you can’t feel your face! You love walking your dog. This is the time to be prepared, flexible and to find alternative ways to spend time together. Make the time outside as worthwhile as possible. There are other times when you will be able to enjoy the, not so bitter cold as well.
KNOW YOUR PET
Their age, breed, hair type and any prior history can all play a part in how they will handle the cold. Don’t leave them unsupervised outside, bitter cold can take a toll in a short period of time to the most vulnerable.
Be sure to clip the long hair on the bottom of their feet, which can collect balls of ice. Trim their nails regularly. They can maintain better footing with proper length nails. If you are going to put coats and booties on them, practice. They need to feel comfortable in them and they need to fit properly. Do not leave them unsupervised in their “clothes” as they may chew them and choking could occur.
WIPE THEIR PAWS
This isn’t just for your floors. Ice-melting chemicals and salt can irritate and burn their paw pads.
Play games inside! They want to spend time with you. All dogs are different and you will need to figure out what works for yours. My 10 year old terrier no longer runs around or plays with toys like she once did, cuddles and massages are fine for her.
Depending on your house and your dog there are a range of possibilities. Set up an obstacle course, not anything fancy, be creative. Or you can get puzzles from a pet store. Try working on some training or teaching them a trick. Which hand is the treat in? Get out the brush and do some extra grooming. Make some homemade dog treats!
FOOD AND WATER
Be sure they have their regular supply of food and water. Colder weather and temperature changes could bring an increase in water intake.
CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN
If you suspect your dog has frostbite or hypothermia you need to contact your veterinarian.
Thankfully these days will not last forever. They help us appreciate the better ones. Keep warm and be safe!