Winter Pet Safety January 2019
BRRRR! When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep all animals indoors except when exercising or relieving themselves. “Outdoor” dogs should have a dry, comfortable, draft-free doghouse large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in his body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Pet stores carry safe heated floor mats and non-electric warm bedding. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Pets require more calories in lower temperatures because exercise is more strenuous and higher fuel intake helps your pet to maintain body temperature. But careful not to go overboard... an extra treat or two will do the trick.
Although it's chilly your pets must have fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl regularly to ensure it’s full and unfrozen. Use a tip-proof bowl to keep Fido’s paws from freezing. And never use a metal water bowl— the tongue will stick to wet metal, (Think "A Christmas Story" !) and injury will result.
Use an old towel to wipe off paws when your dog comes inside to prevent frostbite.
If your dog’s paws come in contact with salt and de-icing chemicals during a walk, rinse the feet off and dry thoroughly once you’re back inside. Keep a clean towel near the door to dry under your dog's belly where damp air and wetness may have soaked into their fur.
And most importantly, enjoy! Some dogs really love the winter. With the right precautions you can let them have fun while being safe.