IT'S TRUE - our furry ones do get cold during winter and even get hypothermia. Here are 5 tips of walking your dog in the cold winter days.
1. Introduce your dog to the snow gradually
When bringing your dog outside in the snow for the first time, make sure to check how he is reacting. If he isn’t shivering or trying to make his way back inside, it’s fine to let him stay outside for longer periods of time, as long as he’s building up to it. Start your dog out with small periods of time outside so his paws will have time to adjust to the colder weather.
2. Put a jacket on your dog
Small dogs, especially with short hair need extra help when there’s a chill in the air. Puppies and older canines also may find it hard to control their body heat.
3. Protect the paws
Rock salt is going to be everywhere, so try and keep your dog from eating it. It isn’t toxic, but it can upset his stomach. It may also rub on the pads of his paws and cause irritation. Dog-safe rock salt might be a great option for your home.
Be extra vigilant about keeping your dog away from antifreeze. It tastes sweet, but is extremely toxic. Look out for blue or green-coloured substances on driveways, sidewalks and car surfaces.
Make sure you wipe their paws down with a towel every time they come inside, Theisen says. Also, check their pads regularly for injuries. Ice and snow can cause painful cracks and bleeding. Trim the hair between their toes to prevent ice buildup.
Source: https://www.purina.ca/articles/dog/care/winter-safety-tips-for-dogs-in-snow, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-cold-weather-tips#1
4. Warm up your dog
If your dog seems too cold, try covering him in a towel or blanket. If your dog is comfortable with blow dryers, you can use one at a low setting to warm him up. Avoid heating pads, which could cause third-degree burns. However, if you want to give your dog something warm to cuddle up to, a warm sock filled with dry rice from the microwave is an excellent alternative. Make sure to test it against your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.
If you’re worried your dog is too cold, their normal body temperature should range from 38.3 °C to 39.2 °C. In order to take your dog’s temperature, you’ll need to use a rectal thermometer.
5. Looks for signs
If your dog is shivering with its tail tucked between the legs, it's a sign that your dog is uncomfortable and probably too cold to be outside. Here are few other signs that indicate your dog is too cold:
- Whining or barking
- Change in behaviour, like seeming anxious or uncomfortable
- Reluctance to keep walking or tries to turn around
- Seeks places for shelter
- Lifts paw off the ground
Bring your dog inside immediately and offer your dog a blanket once they are inside.