Winter Pet-Walking Tips You Should Know

Winter Pet-Walking Tips You Should Know

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Winter is a very cold time of the year โ€“ some would even go as far as to say brutally cold. It could have an effect on all of us, dogs included. Just because itโ€™s cold outside doesnโ€™t mean that you should sacrifice your dogโ€™s exercise and physical well-being. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind while walking your dog this winter.

  1. Keep his toe hair clippedIce tends to accumulate around the hair on his toes, so make it a point to keep it clipped while youโ€™re out walking.
  2. Try some booties.Boots can be hugely beneficial to dogs during the harsh winter months. The snow and the ice tends to dry out your dogโ€™s paws faster and chill him. Dog booties will also keep your dogโ€™s delicate paws from drying out from all the chemicals and salt that people put on the street in order to clear out the snow. Something else you can try, and is just as effective as wearing booties, is paw wax. Some dogs are overly uncomfortable wearing booties and you can try was for those cases.
  3. Wipe down his paws after a walk.You never know what he picks up on the street or stuck to the snow. Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s so important to wipe his paws, every time you get back form a walk. Make sure you wipe them before he licks them.
  4. MoisturizeAfter youโ€™ve wiped down his paws, moisturize! This is a very important step in caring for his paws, especially during winter. It prevents the paws from drying. If you want to opt for a more natural moisturizer, try coconut oil. When your pet licks his paws, and he will, coconut oil would be the safest choice because itโ€™s enriched with healthy fats and vitamins.
  5. Keep your walks short.Your dogโ€™s already burning enough energy already through keeping warm. If heโ€™s tired, go back home. He may be freezing! Better to warm him up quick than unnecessarily lengthening the walk.
  6. Stick to the part where thereโ€™s sidewalk.Try keeping him out of the places where thereโ€™s deep snow. Walking in the deep snow could be fun for a short period of time, but in the long run, itโ€™s likely to get your dog colder, faster. Leave the heavy snow walking for shorter walks like when youโ€™re just out playing in the backyard, and home is close by.
  7. Plan your walksDonโ€™t let a blizzard catch you with your pants down. Better to check the weather and know the trail before taking your dog out for a walk.
  8. Walk during the day.Although the chances of the sun being out are slim, itโ€™s comparatively warmer during the day than in the evening.

4 Common Winter Health Hazards for Pets

Winter may look pretty, with everything covered in snow, but itโ€™s not the best time for your health. We all know that winter means keeping yourself protected to avoid the flu and falling sick, and the same goes for your furry friends. They too can get sick easily during the colder weather if necessary steps to prevent these illnesses are not taken.
Itโ€™s important to keep your pet safe from certain health hazards which are extremely common during winter. But first, you need to know what these hazards are, what you are protecting your pet from. Below we talk about the 4 most common health hazards for your pets during winter:
โ€ข Hypothermia
Hypothermia means extremely low body temperature which is a result of prolonged exposure to a cold environment. Winter is not just cold, but it can be wet too, which means that your petโ€™s fur tends to get wet. This wet fur can freeze, and cause hypothermia as well. If you pet has become lethargic and is constantly shivering, it may mean hypothermia. Keep them warm and protected whenever you are stepping out of the house with them by making them wear sweaters, coats and booties.
โ€ข Frostbite
If you pet has frostbite due to spending too much time in the cold without necessary protection, it means their tissue shave been damaged. This results in their skin looking extremely pale and sometimes, even blueish in color. If your pet has hypothermia, there is a high chance they have frostbite too. Make sure to check their paws, ears and tail to see if there is any change in color. If so, make sure to keep them warm by covering them in blankets and take them to the vet.
โ€ข Kennel cough
Kennel cough, despite its name, can affect both dogs and cats. Itโ€™s called so because it is more likely to be seen in pets which are often confined to small spaces with little ventilation and light. It is a viral infection that is most common during winter, and its most obvious symptom is a persistent cough. Sneezing constantly and having a runny nose are also other common symptoms. Make sure to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
โ€ข Anti-freeze poisoning
Anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol, a chemical which gives its sweet taste. As a result, pets often lick anti-freeze off of the street, sidewalk and even garage floors. However, this is harmful for your pet and not meant to be ingested. Signs of anti-freeze poisoning include not being able to walk properly, vomiting, seizures and even a coma. Make sure to keep this product out of your petโ€™s reach and thoroughly clean all spills.

Keeping Your Pets Warm and Safe During Winter

Now that the cold winter is here, weโ€™re looking for ways to keep ourselves warm โ€“ from pulling out blankets to wearing socks, hats and gloves. However, we are not the only ones who are trying to beat the winter cold. Even our furry little friends are trying to make sense of these weather changes and looking for ways to keep warm.

You may think that just because they have their furry coats, they donโ€™t feel the cold, but youโ€™re wrong. So, here are some steps you can take to help keep your pets warm sand safe during winter.

  • Donโ€™t let them spend too much time outside
    You may be tempted to play with your pet outside in the snow, but spending too much time outside during winter isnโ€™t the best idea. Dogs especially, may like to play in the snow, but make sure their time outside is limited. Your pets, even though they have furs, arenโ€™t meant to be in the freezing outdoors for long periods of time. Even when they step outside, it should only be to engage in physical activities, and this should be limited too.
  • Give them warm sweaters and coats
    You can get your pet a cute, little sweater to help keep them warm during winter. They will appreciate the extra warmth. When going outside, they will need these to protect them from the biting cold. Especially if your pet isnโ€™t thick-furred like certain dog and cat breeds, make sure they have this extra layer of protection and warmth with them.
  • Make sure their precious paws are protected
    Apart from a sweater or a jacket, make sur to get cute booties for your pet too! Many pet-owners tend to forget that their petโ€™s paws are exposed to all kinds of harsh surfaces. They come in direct contact with the freezing ground, not to mention various toxic chemicals like de-icers and antifreeze they may pick up. Wipe their paws to keep them clean, and give them booties to keep warm.
  • Keep winter hazards away from their reach
    Just like any other weather, certain items in the house may not be the safest for your pet. And since pets can eb extremely playful and curious, itโ€™s best to keep such hazardous objects and items away from their reach. For instance, if you have a space heater at home, there is high chance that your pet could burn themselves. So, keep this away from their reach.
  • Give them a cozy and warm bedding
    Just like how you like to cozy up with warm and snuggly blankets, you pet also enjoys covering themselves in layers of blankets. Make sure to provide them with a few extra layers of warmth during the winter to make their nights more comfortable.
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