Monday, January 13, 2014

Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy During The Winter

Sure most dogs have their own coat, but you would not want to go out in a blizzard in a light spring jacket.

Make sure small delicate and short haired dogs, even large ones like Greyhounds have an appropriate winter wardrobe.  

Dogs can suffer from frostbite, especially on delicate ear flaps and tail tips. 
In extreme cold it is a good idea to keep dogs inside, with the exception of the heavy coated northern breed that thrive in low temperature. if it is not possible to keep the dog indoors.

Be aware of the major signs of frostbite, which include skin that appears white or blue.. 

As little as a teaspoon of antifreeze can cause kidney failure.

Be alert to the signs that your dog has swallowed some of it, which include drooling, vomiting, seizures, excessive thirst and a drunken appearance. 

If you think your dog has ingested antifreeze, it is important to get your dog to a vet as soon as possible.  Even if you keep your antifreeze safely tucked away there i still a danger from residue on the streets. 

Most antifreeze is green ethylene glycol, but it comes in several different colors.  So watch where your dog is sniffing.

Avoid thin ice.  It might look like fun to slide across that frozen pond, but ice can easily crack and your dog and you could fall in.  

Slipping on ice can also lead to muscle strains and other injuries.

Protect Those Paws

For dogs who wear them, booties may be the best solution for winter foot protection.  For dogs who will not wear shoes, use paw wax such as Musher's Secret,

Hair on the feet of long haired dogs can from ice balls between pads and toes.  Keep them well trimmed, cutting the hair so that it is even with the surface of the foot.

City streets are coated with such de-icing substances as sodium-chloride (rock salt) and calcium, chloride, which makes sidewalks safe for pedestrians, but can damage paw pads.  
Make sure you wash them off.  

Keep a bucket next to the door to rinse the dog's feet as soon as the dog comes in from the cold.

Use warm water and make sure to reach spots between the toes and pads. 
Some dogs will also need a moisturizer for dry skin.