Keeping Your Dog Safe During Cold Weather

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Cold Weather

by Nikola Marshall

Our dogs are special members of our families. Even though they sport nice fur coats, you still need to take special precautions during cold weather. Dogs need shelter from the weather and have needs just as we do. Following a few simple guidelines will keep your pet safe and happy.

The ideal situation is to let your pet stay inside during cold weather. If this is not possible, make sure they have a place that is warm, dry and away from drafts. Provide extra insulation such as straw and/or blankets. If you provide a doghouse, be sure to face the door to the south in order to avoid frigid north winds.

If you allow your dog indoors, provide a comfy old blanket for him to burrow and snuggle in. Place a blanket or more around if you have floors that are not carpeted. Those tile and hardwood floors get cold!

Use caution when walking or playing with your dog near lakes, rivers, ponds and such. A dog can slip or jump and fall into icy waters. Icy water temperatures can lead very quickly to hypothermia and death.

When your dog comes in from the outside and is wet from snow or cold rain, towel or blow dry him. Be sure his undercoat is dry also. And don?t forget to dry his paws. This will help prevent cracking.

As for nutritional needs, give your dog more calories when the temperatures drop. This is especially true for an outdoor or working dog. It takes more energy to supply body heat and therefore he will burn more calories. Take time to help your dog keep warm. Fresh water should be provided just as in summer. Cold, dry air will cause dehydration. Snow is no substitution for water.

Be aware of hazards around your home. Antifreeze, rock salt and heat sources can harm or even kill your dog. Be diligent! Check constantly for any harmful substances. If you are not sure if something is poisonous or otherwise harmful, err on the side of caution and clean it up or dispose of it.

Do not leave your pet in a vehicle. If you leave the vehicle running, your dog could be overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. If you turn your car off, it can quickly become too cold. Use common sense. If you wouldn?t leave a child in the car, don?t leave a pet there either.

These are simple precautions. Put yourself in your dogs place. If it isn?t warm and comfortable to you chances are it isn?t to your dog either. Make winter a safe, cozy time for your dog and you will be rewarded with lots of love.

Nikola lives and writes in Oklahoma. She will be returning to college this spring to pursue her associate's degree for legal assistant. Nikola enjoys reading, scrapbooking and spending time with her two dogs. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pets.

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