In many areas of the country, winter has been rather easy. In other areas, winter has settled in and has brought with it cold, blowing snow, ice, bitter winds and frigid temperatures. Chances are you aren’t leaving your house until you’re bundled up and ready to face the drop in the mercury.
Just as you dress for and prepare for the snow and cold, so too should you prepare your big dog for the winter weather. How can you do that? Here are a few of our best tips for protecting your dog in the winter months.
Don’t leave them outside in the cold.
Even if you have a dog that is bred for the cold and ice it’s not a good idea to let your pet spend too much time outside — no matter how much he or she begs. One of our team members has a husky-lab mix, a dog with a double coat, and he isn’t allowed to stay out as long as he might like. Even though he may not shiver like a smaller dog would, the cold can penetrate his coat and lead to him getting chilled. You also need to pay attention to your dog’s extremities so his paws, ears and nose don’t get frostbite.
Smaller dogs may be amenable to donning a winter coat or sweater before heading out of doors. If that’s the case, dress them up. Chances are, your big don’t won’t want to wear a sweater or boots.
Clean your dog’s paws.
If you’re using rock salt or another snow melter on your steps to rid them of ice and snow, be aware that unless you have a pet friendly product it could harm your dog’s paws. Even if you have a pet-friendly product you will still want to make certain there is none of the product between the pads of their paws. You may even want to invest in some of the products o the market that are geared toward keeping the pads of your dog’s feet safe and protected.
Keep the water bowl thawed.
Even if your dog isn’t outside for long, you need to make certain he or she has access to fresh, not frozen water. Check the water bowl every time you take him outside. Let’s face it, there will be times and there will be dogs who simply revel in the cold weather and they may beg to be allowed to stay outside and play in the snow for a while. Make certain you don’t leave them outside too long and keep an eye on them while they’re outside.
Give them a comfortable place to sleep.
Just as the cold can make your bones and joints ache so too will that happen with your dog especially if she is old and prone to arthritis. Big dogs, as you’re well aware, are more prone to bone and joint issues and pain. Offering your beloved big dog a warm, comfortable place to sleep. A bed that is specifically designed for the big dog and his unique needs will let him rest easy and sleep comfortably after he’s spent time outside.
Your big dog relies on you to keep him safe whether from the heat of a summer day or on a cold winter afternoon.