Dog owners are often under the misconception that their dog can survive outside fine during a harsh snowstorm. Despite, a dog’s fur coat only the most well adapted Arctic breeds are capable of withstanding the harsh wintertime weather that a severe snowstorm brings. Here are a few tips to keep your furry friend safe during the extreme winter weather.
1) Move your pet indoors and out of the wintertime cold weather. If you are unable to place your pet in the house consider a garage or other location. Protecting the pet from the extreme temperature drop that a wind chill can bring on is extremely important. Provide an insulated sleeping location in a garage. Consider placing an electric bed for the dog to lay on within a garage to keep it warm.
2) Never leave a dog alone in a cold car. Despite having some protection from the elements within a car a dog that is unaccustomed to a cold winter will still suffer from hypothermia and, perhaps, death.
3) Most dogs require more protein to help maintain their body temperature. Increasing a dog’s protein intake months prior to the wintertime cold will help the dog grow a thicker coat so it does not suffer from the cold as severely when it is required to go outside to do its business.
4) Avoid letting your dog go outside to potty in areas that have had salt sprinkled on the sidewalk or roadways. The salt can irate the dog’s paws and cause it pain.
5) Some dogs suffer paw pads that crack during the extremely cold winter months. Consider purchasing a pair of dog boats to safely cover the dog’s paws when it goes outside. Rub a soothing lotion onto the dog’s paws if they become irritated. If the cracking is severe the dog will require the care of a veterinarian.
6) Purchase a dog coat or sweater for short haired dogs. Dogs with short or groomed hair suffer from the cold and are often hesitant to go outside to do their business. Covering the dog in a warm sweater or coat will help keep the dog warm and make it more agreeable to going outside.
7) Keep all antifreeze cleaned up. Scoop away and dispose of any snow that suffers from an antifreeze spill to protect your dog and other animals in the neighborhood from coming into contact with the toxic substance.
8) Provide a warm spot for a dog to lie if the dog is not allowed on the beds or furniture. Floors become cold during winter time weather extremes. Many dogs suffer from laying on a cold floor, especially if they are elderly and prone to arthritis.
9) If the dog becomes wet and chilled from the snow, towel him dry. If the dog is extremely wet consider blowing him dry using a blow dryer set to a low setting.
10) Move the dog’s water indoors so it does not freeze.