Well, it looks like good ol’ Puxatawny Phil was a big scaredy cat yesterday! He saw his shadow, and ran right back into his house. Sometimes I feel that way when I wake up and the temperature is in the single digits… Just imagine how your pets must feel! For those of you with puppers, you don’t have too much of a choice when it comes to braving those blustery winter days. Here are a few tips to keep both you and your pup toasty warm, and safe in the winter wonderland that awaits you outside:
Some dogs are single-coated while others are double-coated. What does this mean? Well, certain breeds of dogs such as Huskies, Malamutes, Chow Chows, Akitas, and so on, have a soft undercoat and a tough top coat which work in tandem to keep those breeds protected from the elements (hence why they tend to love the cold). On the other hand, the vast majority of dogs have a single coat, and are thus left exposed to the elements much like we are. If you have a single-coated dog, here’s your chance to dress up your pup in an adorable (or ugly) sweater! Even if they sulk, it is so important to keep your pups warm – if you’re cold, there’s a good chance they are too.
While dog paws are designed to protect themselves from injury to some extent, they can absolutely be affected by cold weather! Frostbite is a real danger for dogs, as is irritation from the ice-salt littering our sidewalks these days. These are just a few ways to keep your dog’s paws protected from the winter elements:
Wipe them off when you come inside (this also helps keep your house clean!)
Watch out for ice – although they have 4 legs, dogs aren’t always the most graceful when it comes to slippery surfaces
Watch the clock – frostbite can occur if your dog is outside for too long in frigid temps
Consider purchasing boots or foot wax – you can even find all natural recipes to make your own foot wax!
Check your dog’s paws regularly – pair paw-touching with treats to make it a PAWsitive experience!
While Spring is hopefully right around the corner, we can’t cut corners when it comes to our pet’s health! If you notice that your dog is in general discomfort, or their paws are cracking or bleeding, please consult your veterinarian! Your pup will thank you for it.