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How to take care of dogs in freezing weather

What’s the appropriate way to take care of dogs during those cold winter days? During freezing or cold weather, many people don’t realize that animals feel the cold. Sadly, dogs are often left outside to defend for themselves in extreme weather conditions. Owners sometimes believe dogs can cope in all types of weathers; this simply isn’t true.

How to take care of dogs in extreme weather conditions

Dogs are incapable of looking after themselves in any extreme temperatures. It is critical to take of dogs in cold and freezing weather, this can be done by keeping your dog inside. However, as most need to go for a walk, choose a moment when the weather is less offensive.

If your dog needs to go to the toilet, use cues such as ‘quick wee wee’. My dog fully understands what this means, he nips out – he nips in. He’s fully aware that this statement means no checking out the opposite sex in our nearby field. My dog Kaba hates the cold weather with a passion, if I open the back door, he’ll often omit venturing outside unless desperate.

Weather extremes have shown how a dog can actually hold on to their bladder. On good days, I’m sure my dog Kaba frequently wee’s just to checkout the latest action; however, during a bad day, he’ll pee twice maximum. There we go; it’s a fact, they can hold on to their bladders better than we assume.

When my Kaba comes back into the house, I’ll wipe his feet if it’s been snowing or raining; sometimes I’ll give him a foot spa using doggy shampoo – he loves being pampered!

It’s vital to do this because dirt will infiltrate your carpet and muddy your flooring; your dogs paws can carry germs, salt and other chemicals. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to check your dog’s paws for cracks, sores, bleeding and scabs, etc. Always reward your dog with special treats, especially if new training is being implemented – even foot spas!

Why are dogs at risk?

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To take care of dogs, we should be on the lookout for any that are stranded, it’s easy for them to become accidentally buried under snow. Furthermore, should you see an animal outside for long periods of time contact your local authorities.

To take of dogs in cold weather involves having your pet examined just before the winter freeze. Fortunately, my dog has his vaccines administered each November so this is an opportunity for him to be checked. A thorough examination is vital because dog’s who suffer with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or hormonal imbalances, etc. can feel the cold more than a healthy dog.

The most dog’s at risk are puppies, mature dog’s and dog’s with ill health. Contrary to popular belief, animals are not less susceptible to cold temperatures; there fur, however thick, does not measure a dog’s vulnerability. However, there are distinct breeds specific for snow and colder temperatures such as the Husky and the Wolf Dog; even so, they still shouldn’t be left in the cold for too long.

Going the extra mile

When going for a walk, some owners use dog coats, believe it or not these enhance coldness. Booties are a great way to take care of dogs paws, but make sure they’re the correct fitting. On your walks avoid icy ponds and lakes, they’re not safe even for humans as it’s impossible to judge the ice depths. After your walk and once you’re home, clean down your dog’s body as well as their paws. To do this you can use quality doggy wipes or doggy shampoo and be sure to dry your dog thoroughly.

To take care of dogs, they should never be left unattended in a car during cold winter days; cars can soon become a fridge-freezer. Basically, your dog will be limited to the house so make sure he’s comfortable and warm. Winter days can be an excuse to bond with your pet by playing games with each other. We can also take care of dogs in the house by ensuring all heaters are safe. Some heaters are dangerous; if a dog goes too close, their fur could easily catch fire.

Some dogs are natural outsiders, in this case their den needs to be in a proper kennel. Some owners have dog kennels inside their garage or shed, which are often heated. Make sure it’s very dry with no dampness; additionally, there needs to be plenty of space to roam with sufficient clean water and comfy bedding.

To take care of dogs and ourselves, we should always be prepared for the cold weather the best way we can. This means we should have more than enough food supplies, water, fuel for heating, candles, medicine, blankets and whatever else is your favorite supply. Furthermore, during those cold dark days, we need to keep a careful watch on our dogs. Shivering can easily turn into hypothermia and paws can become frostbitten.

If you are unsure of anything please consult your vet for help and advice.

About the author

Jennifer Pitts

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.

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