If this is your first winter with a rescue dog living in your home, you may not be aware that colder months carry with them a whole new set of challenges for responsible pet owners. In the wintertime, your dog is exposed to new elements, toxins, and other dangers that might not be around in the summertime. Temperatures of under 45℃ can be dangerous even for dogs that are bred for cold weather. If you’re the proud new owner of an adopted pup, here are some tips on how you can keep your four-legged friend safe, warm, and comfortable in the coming months.
Invest in a Doggie Sweater
Dog clothing isn’t just about making a fashion statement. In the winter, a cute little sweater or cardigan can make all the difference to your dog when going out for a walk before you curl up in the warmth at home. Even long-haired dogs can benefit from the added insulation. If it’s wet or snowing outside, you may even want to opt for a waterproof jacket to prevent your pup’s fur from getting soaked and freezing. You may also want to get some mittens for your dog’s paws, as extremities are particularly susceptible to heat loss and even frostbite.
Watch Out for Chemicals
In the winter months, it’s not uncommon to see cities and households using chemicals to melt dangerous ice along roads and walkways. While this might make these areas safer for us, though, it can wreak havoc on the soles of your dog’s feet. Common chemicals and road salts can cause painful irritation and even burns on the pads of your pooch’s feet. Many products are also toxic when ingested, as is the antifreeze that leaks from car engines on cold days. If your dog eats something that’s been sitting on the pavement, you may end up having to take a trip to the nearest poison control center.
Always watch your pup carefully when walking in areas that have been cleared of ice and snow. Try to teach them to avoid eating leaves, dirt, and other objects in their path, as these may be poisonous. You may also want to give their paws a good wipe-down after your walk or protect their pads with booties.
Winter weather can be hazardous to the health of your four-legged friend. At best, the cold can cause discomfort for pets, while at the worst extremes it can lead to frostbite and even death. Not only that, but chemicals used to clear ice and snow can lead to irritation and even poisoning. By educating yourself and taking the proper precautions, you can keep your rescue pup safe and sound this winter and avoid any unnecessary trips to the vet.