Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bear's Winter Safety Tips for Tail Waggers

The winter months can be filled with new adventures and wonderful opportunities for fun and games with your furry companion.  Most dogs adore the winter months because snow is so versatile.  You can throw it, roll in it, dig through it, catch it, sculpt it and even eat it!!!!  But as fun as winter is, it can also be very dangerous.  

The following are some winter tips for dogs and their owners to help keep the cold winter months safe and filled with fun!

1)      Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.

2)      Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape. 

3)      Don't leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. 

4)      Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. 

5)      Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean its paws, too. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking. 

6)      Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat. Long-haired dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal and cleaning. If you do the trimming, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate area of the foot. 

7)      Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal. Make sure your dog knows his “leave it” (or equivalent) command.  This could save his life 

8)      Provide plenty of fresh water. Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer. Snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water.

But it’s not just the pets who need to stay safe in the winter, pet parents should take their own precautions to stay healthy and safe during the winter months while walking their furry companions.

  • Make sure you are dressed according to the weather – hats, scarves and gloves are all important when going out to walk your dog. 
  • It gets dark pretty quickly now (especially where we live).  Make sure you have a flashlight in your pocket or attached to your leash
  • Beware of black ice on the sidewalks or the roads where you walk
  • And finally, if you live in an area with a lot of trees, beware of wild animal alerts. Some animals (like Coyotes) don’t discriminate between small game and the family pet.

Bear Says:

“Playing in the snow is fun! But make sure to keep an eye out on your pet-parent and to listen to their commands.”

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear's P4ws

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