Caring for Your Dogs in Cold Weather
Cold weather is upon us, friends, and it’s time to start thinking about how to best care for your dogs in cold weather. We’ve got a few tips for pet owners to consider during the winter months to ensure you’re keeping your furry friends safe, healthy, and happy during the coldest time of the year.
1– Understand your dog’s limits.
Some dogs do fine in the cold weather, and others are more susceptible to cold. Smaller dogs, puppies, thinner, older, or shorter-coated dogs tend to get cold more quickly. Bear this in mind when planning how long they can spend outdoors during the cold months. You may want to consider a sweater or coat for your pup if you’re going to be outdoors for a fair amount of time.
2– Use a leash.
During the winter months, it’s even more important to leash your dogs to help ensure they remain with you during time outside. The last thing you want is for your dog to get lost on a cold night. If you’re in an area that sees snowfall, it’s important to know that snow may disguise familiar scents that would otherwise help dogs find their way back home .
3– Think about visibility.
Because the days are shorter and the sun sets much earlier during the winter, your daily walks with your dog may occur when it’s dark outside. It is critical that you and your dog can be seen when you’re out and about. Make sure you are both outfitted with reflective gear such as clothing, collar, or leash. Keep your dog in a close “heel” position when walking on busy streets.
4– Beware of hazardous spills.
Observe your vehicle for leaks during the wintertime, particularly if you park outdoors. Antifreeze, in particular, is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Unfortunately, its sweet taste attracts them to it, despite the danger. Make sure you clean up any antifreeze spills and keep such products out of reach of animals.
5– Leave your dogs home when you can.
We all understand the danger of leaving pets in a hot car, but too much time in a cold car can be harmful too. Unless it’s imperative to bring your dog with you, try to leave them at home where it’s safe and warm.
Despite these cautions, don’t forget to enjoy the winter season with your pups. It’s a great time for both outdoor exploration and indoor snuggles on the couch or by the fire. No matter what, we know you will do your best to keep your dogs safe in cold weather. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, as always, reach out to our helpful staff at Longwood Vet Center. We’re always here for you! Stay warm out there.