Winter's cold air brings many concerns for responsible dog owners. Keep the following
precautions in mind:
Don't leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes
days colder than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your dog's body temperature,
and limit its time outdoors.
Adequate shelter is a necessity. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles
and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and
pads on floors in these areas.
Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers
or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get seriously injured.
Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated.
Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat. Long-haired
dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal
and cleaning. If you do the trimming, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate
area of the foot.
Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working
animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so
additional calories are necessary.
Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry
and clean its paws, too. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum
jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking.
Don't leave your dog alone in a car. If the car engine is left on, the carbon monoxide
will endanger your dog's life. If the engine is off, the temperature in the car will
get too cold.
Dogs cannot talk to us when they are sick. As a responsible dog owner, it is important
to pay special attention to your dog's well-being during the winter season. Remember
the following health concerns:
Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous.
Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal.
Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse
and dry your dog's feet after a walk.
Provide plenty of fresh water. Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the
winter as in the summer. Snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water.
Frostbite is your dog's winter hazard. To prevent frostbite on its ears, tail and
feet, don't leave your dog outdoors for too long. (If you are cold out side, so
is your dog)
Be very careful of supplemental heat sources. Fireplaces and portable heaters can
severely burn your dog. Make sure all fireplaces have screens, and keep portable
heaters out of reach.
Like people, dogs seem to be more susceptible to illness in the winter. Take your
dog to a veterinarian if you see any suspicious symptoms.
Don't use over-the-counter medications on your dog without consulting a veterinarian.
The winter season brings lots of fun holiday festivities, but pet-owners should keep
in mind the following special precautions:
The holidays are not ideal for introducing a pet into your family. New puppies and
dogs require extra attention and a stable environment, which the holiday season doesn't
permit. Also, a puppy is not a toy or gift that can be returned. Instead, the AKC
suggests giving a gift representative of the dog to come, such as a toy, a leash,
or a bed.
Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are pet poisons! Make sure they are kept in
places your dog cannot reach.
Review holiday gifts for dogs to make sure they are safe. Items such as plastic toys
and small rawhide sticks may be dangerous.
Remove holiday lights from lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and
Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and may get badly shocked
or electrocuted. Place wires out of reach.
Avoid using glass ornaments. They break easily and may cut a dog's feet and mouth.
Refrain from using edible ornaments. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt
to eat them. Also, commercial ornaments may contain paint or toxins in the preservatives.
Whether your tree is live or artificial, both kinds of needles are sharp and indigestible.
Don't leave your dog unattended in the room with the tree.
Tinsel is dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block
Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep unhealthy,
sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach.
The holiday season is a stressful time for dogs. Try to keep a normal schedule during
all the excitement.
From: The American Kennel Club at: http://www.akc.org/public_education/winter_care.cfm
Save a Life ~~Adopt a Shelter Pet!!
Please click on the “Pet search”, button you will see after you roll your mouse over
“Adoptions”. There you can search through all of the wonderful kids we have available
for adoption. Make one of the dogs days, heck even make their whole life...give
them the home they crave and they will provide you with unconditional love.