It's here. We've had our first dusting of snow. While the grass is still peeking through on our lawns, we all know that it's only a matter of time before winter is truly here. Are you ready for it? Do you have everything you need to make sure your furry friend doesn't freeze to the bones?
Think about the skin
Just like us humans, the transition from the warm, dry cocoon of the house to the cold, wet outdoors is very hard on a dog's skin and can cause irritation and itching.
To help, you can:
- Maintain an ambient humidity level inside the house;
- Wash and dry your dog's paws (don't forget between the toes!) and belly thoroughly to remove ice, salt, and other chemicals that may have been picked up along the way;
- Reduce the frequency of baths to allow your dog to maintain his natural essential oils that cover his body;
- Avoid shaving your dog during the winter, especially short trims, as you are removing a protective barrier against the cold;
- Protect the toepads from salt and chemicals on our roads by using petroleum jelly or balms designed for pads before going out for your walk. You may also consider using booties if your dog tolerates them.
Fighting the cold
You probably don't need another excuse to get your cat or dog a cozy bed, but in the winter, they'll be even more grateful if you give them a warm, cozy place to nap, away from drafts and off the cold floor. It's time to get out your blankets and pillows!
Also, remember that our furry friends expend more energy fighting the cold, so your dog may require an increased portion of food to meet his caloric needs. And make sure you always have fresh water available to keep them well hydrated (for glowing skin).
Finally, remember a few simple safety precautions. Do not leave antifreeze or products containing ethylene glycol within reach of your pets as they are toxic and dangerous even in small quantities. Do not leave your pets alone in the car as the cold could be fatal to them.
And finally, the golden rule: if the outside temperature is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pets!
Have a good winter!