Here are a host of helpful hints as to how to prepare a four-legged friend for the coming cold and the worst of the wicked winter weather.
Get a Checkup
Make sure your dog is healthy going into winter. Cold weather can worsen certain illnesses in dogs, so know ahead of time if there are any problems.
Update your dog’s ID tags. Dogs can become more easily lost during winter as familiar smells and sights are obscured by cold or snow. Keep your pets close, but if they do get lost, you’ll be glad that whoever finds them can easily find you.
You wear a winter coat when it’s cold and so should your dog. Most dogs naturally grow thicker fur for winter. If you have a non-shedding dog, be careful not to trim their fur too closely to the skin. They rely on you to cut their coat properly for cold weather. Smaller dogs or dogs with thin hair may need a man-made sweater or coat.
Shorten Your Walks
Walks during the winter can be more difficult and energy consuming for dogs (and for you). Consider shortening your walks, especially if you notice signs of over-exertion in your dog: wheezing, shivering, limping.
Check your dog’s paws after walks. Ice and rock salt can get stuck between their toes or even cut their paws. Ouch! Rock salt and other deicers can also be poisonous to dogs. Protect your dog by wiping down their paws, legs, and belly with a damp cloth after being outside.
Leaving Pets in the Car: Summer and Winter No-No
Most people know not to leave pets in the car during the summer, as the car can act as an oven when it’s hot. The opposite can be true in winter! When the temperature drops, a car can act as a refrigerator, taking the temperature too low for your pet. Do not leave pets in the car in cold weather.
Birds migrate for the winter; your dog may need to move, too! Check the temperature of your dog’s sleeping area, and move it to a warmer area if needed. You can also give them a warm blanket or pillow for the winter to make sure they’re cozy and comfortable.
Dogs use more energy in winter, so it’s important that they consume the calories required to provide that energy. Dogs especially need more protein, so stock up on My Doggy flavors like Peanut Butter, Honey Sesame, and Natural Smoked Soy and Honey. All My Doggy Soft-Baked Cookies contain protein, but these flavors provide the most for your hard-working dog.
The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to your dog! It will let you know if anything is wrong. It’s counting on you to get the message.
My Doggy hopes you have a happy and safe winter!