It might be March but in many parts of the country we are still dealing with frigid temps and wintery weather. Here is a great post full of tips from our guest writer Catherine Daniels. ~Ali
|Playing it safe in the snow!|
Caring for dogs in extreme weather condition is something that needs to be done properly and carefully and there is no two ways about it. This is true for the summer heats when the dogs need to be hydrated properly and kept away from too much sun exposure but it is also true for winter which has its own traps and pitfalls that you need to avoid. We will give you some advice on what you need to do and what you should not do in order to care for your dog during winter months.
For one, for most breeds, the winter is not exactly the favorite time of the year and they are just as likely to love going out in sub-zero temperatures as you are. Most dogs will prefer to stay in during the winter months, going outside only for brief periods of time. And that is exactly what you should do. Let them stay inside and try and provide them with stuff to do while they are in, especially if they are used to going out more.
|"Do I HAVE to go in now, Mom?"|
There are also some nutritional tips that you need to be aware of. First of all, the cold weather drains energy from the dogs and they may require more quality food if the place they live gets colder during winter or after they have had fun outside. You should think about upping their daily intake of food in such cases, simply to make up for the calorie expenditure due to low temperatures. Also, you need to be aware that the water in their bowl can get frozen and you should make sure this never happens. If the temperatures are really low where the dog lives, you should think about replacing their metal bowl with a plastic or a ceramic one.
There is another thing that you need to check for if you take your dog outside during winter, especially if it is freezing cold outside and if the snow is falling and that is the salt that is put on the roads. As the snow and ice melt thanks to the salt, the salt can form little balls that can get on the dog's paws and nails and can cause a variety of problems. Also, make sure that your dog cannot get access to antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes very sweet to dogs and they are prone to try and drink some which can be extremely toxic.
-Catherine Daniels, huge animal lover and freelance writer in spare time, enjoys hiking with her dog Cookie and cuddling with her cat Zoe.