Protect Your Dog This Winter

Lower temperatures require special care to keep your dog healthy throughout the cold months.

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Golden Retriever in snowy windowThe American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered these winter safety tips to dog owners:

If you have a shorthaired breed, consider a warm coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck that covers your dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath to help keep him warm.

Always walk your dog on leash in winter. Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and ice and easily become lost.
 
Keep ice-melting products away from pets. Wipe off their legs and stomach to remove any traces of the product. These products are irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract. If ingested, they can lead to depression, weakness, disorientation, low blood pressure, cardiac problems, seizures, comas or death.

Never leave your dog alone in a car during the winter. The car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold, and possibly freezing your pet.

Dogs should have a warm place to sleep off of the floor, such as a dog bed or basket with a warm blanket or pillow, placed away from drafts.

Antifreeze, even in small doses, is lethal to dogs. Clean up any spills from your vehicle. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center if you suspect your pet has been poisoned. Walking your dog on leash will help prevent him from lapping up a driveway or road spill of antifreeze.

Limit outdoor exposure if your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type. Take him outdoors only long enough to relieve himself.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors engaging in physical activity, increase his daily food ration, especially protein. This will help keep his fur thick and healthy.

Got a cute photo of your dog playing in the snow? Add it to our forums, where dog lovers are sharing their best shots!

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Cincinnati   Albany, NY

12/19/2010 6:25:28 PM

What I do when my yorkies paws get full of wet snow, I put 4 wash cloths (clean and dry) into the dryer. Why? Because they dryer heats up the wash cloths, and makes them warm enough to melt the snow and warm up your dogs feet.


*Sometimes I also put a towel in the dryer and wrap it around her to get her whole body warm if she is covered in snow*

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Helen   Wilmington, OH

12/17/2010 8:35:49 AM

I read all the information and failed to find anything about the care of dog paws during the winter. It's very important to make sure there is no snow packed between the toes especially on the long haired dogs with lots of hair between the toes. I check each foot when our dogs come in from playing in the snow and make sure no snow or ice has packed in between toes and if necessary poor some warm water over the feet to loosen and remove the snow or ice,sometimes just a good rubbing with a washcloth will loosen the snow enough and the dog will wash the rest off themselves

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Christina   NEW YORK, NY

12/17/2010 1:00:22 AM

Great article! However I would also recommend buying an overall for dogs with short hair - to protect their hind legs as well:) I have a fabulous Snow overall, fleece overall, wind overall all from the same company and they keep my chinese crested warm and snuggly in this weather we are having!

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momo   anaheim, CA

3/17/2010 5:28:06 PM

good info

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