Your dog isn't going to be able to withstand winter the way you may think he can. His paw pads are sensitive to the cold, and so is his skin. Winter months are going to require you to monitor your dog and keep him safe from the elements. If you aren't careful, your dog could suffer from hypothermia, shock, or end up with frostbite. To keep your dog safe this winter, follow the tips below.
1. Protect Paw Pads
Protect your pet's paw pads by using pet-safe salt in areas where your dog frequents. Other types of salt are toxic and can be harmful to your dog if your dog ingests any of this salt, or licks them off of his paw pads. The salt can also be harsh on his paw pads. Ice and snow can also be harsh for your dog's paw pads, so be sure to limit your dog's time outside. They can freeze quickly outside, just as if you were outside without any coverings.
2. Limit Outdoor Exposure
You need to limit your dog's exposure to the winter elements. Keep your dog inside as much as possible, and only take your dog out for brief periods of time to relieve himself as needed. Keep your dog's time outside for exercise or other activities to a limit. Limiting this time can protect your dog from hypothermia and frostbite.
3. Keep a Collar on Your Dog
Be sure to keep a collar on your dog when he is outside. If in the event he gets out, his collar will have a nametag on it that has his name and your address and phone number. If your dog gets lost, he can make his way back to you, but only if this information is known. Keeping your dog on a leash when he's outside can also prevent your dog from getting out and lost as well. If you don't have a fenced-in yard, you should keep him on a leash to prevent him from getting away.
Keep your dog safe this winter and protect him from the harsh elements. If you suspect your dog is suffering from hypothermia, has ingested anything toxic, such as road salt or antifreeze, or has frostbite, take your dog to the veterinarian for the proper treatment and to ensure your dog heals properly. You can also ask your veterinarian about what other things you can do to keep your pet safe.