Protecting Your Dog in Winter Weather

As the days get shorter and temperatures fall, there’s no denying that winter is quickly approaching. That also means that the chances of seeing snow and ice increase. With winter weather on the horizon, it’s important to take steps to protect your dog and keep him warm and safe.

Spend more time indoors: If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Even dogs who are built for cooler climates should only be outdoors in limited spurts. You can still go for walks or toss a ball, but keep it shorter than usual, especially on particularly chilly days. If your dog typically stays outside most of the time, you’ll want to bring him inside instead.

Have a warm place to sleep: Remember that the ground can be cold, even if it’s covered in carpet. Set up a dog bed or a few blankets for your pet to curl up on. You may want to create cozy spots in several rooms of your home depending on where your family and dog hang out the most. Don’t forget to keep space heaters away from your dog and put a protective screen in front of the fireplace.

Bundle up: You may think your dog looks silly in a jacket or booties, but they can protect him from the cold. Fur does a good job of insulating your dog, but if it is cut short, the cold can penetrate more quickly. Plus, smaller dogs sit closer to the ground and may brush up against snow and ice more easily. Booties that wrap around your dog’s paws can protect them from salt, ice, and snow buildup when walking outdoors.

Brush off: When you come inside, have an old towel handy to wipe away any snow or ice stuck to your dog’s fur. Try to dry off your pet’s fur as much as possible, and check the pads of their feet for any salt or gravel that may have become lodged there.

Avoid water: If your dog likes to roam while outside, keep them on a shorter leash and away from any lakes, ponds, or creeks. Even if the water looks frozen over, the ice may not be thick enough to withstand your dog’s weight. The last thing you want is for them to fall through.

Stay alert: As snow and ice are removed from roadways and walkways, they can become dirty very quickly. Pay attention to what your dog is doing while outside to ensure he is not eating snow that is contaminated with rock salt or other chemicals or debris. Also check your dog’s feet, belly, ears, and skin periodically to look for any changes that may indicate frost bite, hypothermia, dry skin, or other conditions.

If your dog is used to being outdoors and socializing, signing them up for doggie daycare at Lake Wylie Pet Resort over the winter can be a great option. They’ll have a warm, safe to play with other dogs and can burn off some of their energy without being out in the elements. And instead of leaving your dog home alone when you’re gone, or having someone just stop by a few times a day to check on them, consider boarding them. Contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort today to learn more about how we care for your pet and help keep them safe year-round.

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