DOG

Woof! The winter weather snuck up on me this year. It brings challenges for dogs and humans, especially for those who recently adopted a dog. So far, we haven’t had much snow, ice, or freezing weather days. Barkingly, it’s best to be prepared though and have a plan. 

BARKS! In the cold weather,  dogs and cats should never be left outside! Not even if they have a dog house or a place to hide! Many humans believe dogs and cats are less bothered by the cold weather because of their fur. Nope! Barks, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, and just being downright cold! Even the longer-haired and thick-coated breeds which were bred for colder climates should not be left outside for long periods! Have crates prepared indoors to bring dogs inside. 

Barkingly, one of the most impawtant issues with cold weather and dogs is their tolerance. Woofs, not all pups are created equal, nor is every winter storm or the elements making up the weather. Woofing, you need to know what you do to keep your individual dog safe and healthy! Paws, the first step is to have a wellness exam with your pet’s Veterinarian. Ask about your specific dog’s tolerance for the cold weather. This will allow you to plan before taking Fido outside! Woofs!

Paws, I have a short-hair coat, so Dad bought me a beautiful flannel coat that looks like a horse coat- I look so handsome! I wear it outside when the temperatures are around freezing. Barkingly, Dad spent time paying attention to me when I get cold and puts the coat on as needed. Some windy winter days when the temperatures are in the 40s, maybe 50s can be challenging! He knows I do not like it, so he doesn’t make me wear it any more than I need. Barks. 

As dog’s age, like humans, we can develop arthritis, it becomes harder to maintain body temperatures, and other issues that make it harder to enjoy cold weather. I have had some arthritis in my left paw, which makes being outside in the cold weather more challenging. We tend to take shorter walks on frigid days. Barkingly, there are products, way too embarrassing for me, such as booties for paws, and sweaters that help keep dogs warm. 

Barkingly, always pay attention to the weather forecast before heading out, especially for one of those long walks. Paws, several years ago, our area was hit by a Polar Vortex. It was so cold my doggie-snot froze- not pretty nor fun. This weather condition made it very dangerous for me, not to mention my human, to be outside for very long, so our walk was cut very short. Ice is another factor that can be dangerous when walking. While some dogs will trot across it, others may have challenges that could cause them harm.  

WOOFs, humans walking their dogs on public sidewalks and paths should be on alert for de-icing compounds and the like. Barkingly, many humans over-treat their sidewalks to make it safe to walk on. Growls! It makes it easier for the dogs to get the product in their paws, or between their toes, and pawssibly become ill by licking them later. Look ahead as you walk Fido to avoid those areas. If you cannot, make sure you clean your dog’s paws before they have a chance to do it themselves. At the end of your walk, check your dog’s paws for ice embedded between toes, frostbite, and any chemicals. Barkingly, humans who maintain the sidewalks or driveway aprons should consider using products that are non-toxic to pets, and mini-humans too, such as sand. 

Paws, cats who roam the neighborhood at night are often looking for a warm place to sleep. A car engine’s warmth can be attractive to an animal looking for a place to warm up. Barkingly, humans should get into the habit of making noises in the winter months, such as pounding on the hood and opening and shutting the car doors to alert any animals sleeping on the car engine. 

Barkingly, my friends who are Huskies and St. Bernards reading this article should prepare their humans with extra winter clothing and warm boots so they can enjoy the winter weather as much as you! Barks!  

About us! Barks! Meows! Using humor with facts, Samson and I write about dog/cat adoption, humor, pet care tips, and entertaining stories about life with pets! Enjoy our articles? Pawlease follow us at www.fromthedogspaw.com by email. Samson is Cat-in-Charge, I am Noah, Dog to our human, Allen Pearson, www.allenpearsonphotography.com, www.allenpearsonphotographyjournal.com, www.facebook.com/AllenPearsonPhotography, www.instagram.com/allen_pearson_photography, www.instagram.com/fromthedogspaw, www.facebook.com/fromthedogspaw.

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