Baby, it’s cold outside! Winter is here, we are already freezing, and our pets feel it too!
Many dogs love this weather and enjoy it, but we have to keep in mind that although, cold, and playing outside in the snow can be fun, extremely low temperatures can represent a danger for our dogs. I am sure you are a responsible owner and know how to keep your dog safe during the wintertime, but in this post, I would like to share a few tips that you can add to your doggy’s routine and have fun safely under Chicago’s cold.
1.This is the perfect time of the year to take your pup to the vet for their annual check-up, especially if your dog’s skin gets extremely sensitive during cold weather, or if your dog has any medical condition that may worsen with cold weather, for example, arthritis.
2.Every dog has a different tolerance to cold, keep an eye on your dog, and adjust accordingly. You probably are going to need to shorten their walks or dress them in a sweater and boots. My favorite tip is to have a warm blanket ready at home for when you come back from a walk/ potty break under the snow. You can iron the blanket, put it in the dryer for a few minutes, or you can get one of those electric body warming blankets, and wrap your dog like a burrito after each walk.
3.Do not forget the paws, check your dog’s paws for signs of cold-damage such as cracked paws or bleeding. This can happen due to ice accumulation between the toes. Also, some dogs just tend to get their paws and nose dryer than usual during low temperatures, so make sure you are using a nose and paw balm, if you prefer natural options coconut oil does the same work.
4.Watch out for antifreeze during snowy days! As we all know, dogs are lickers, they lick themselves, and even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly, so make sure you clean your dog’s paws and belly as soon as possible.
5.Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. Hot cars are known threats for dogs, but cold cars also pose a significant risk to your dog’s health. I am sure you already know how fast a car can cool down in cold weather.
Lastly, some people believe that dogs are more resistant than humans to cold weather because of their fur, but this ISN’T true. Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, therefore, DOGS MUST BE KEPT INSIDE. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but it doesn’t mean they can be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.