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Winterizing your 4 Legged Family Members

I'll give your dog a new leash on life.

I'll give your dog a new leash on life.

Winter is around the corner and you will find your pet needs a little extra care from you. It’s best to be prepared for your four-legged loved ones. Pets need transition time just like us.

Don’t Forget the Feet

Even when it is cold dogs need regular exercise. Don’t forget about their paws. You can buy booties to protect them and provide better traction for dogs who will tolerate them. Think of them as snow tires for dogs. There can be rock salt and chemical de-icer that can get on their feet. Sharp ice can cut the paws too. Also as with my Goldens, Dakota and Paige snow forms ice balls between their pads and it is hard to walk so trimming the hair between the toes is also a good idea. Keep nails trimmed to maintain solid footing. It is difficult with long nails.

Water

As always fresh water is important. Summer is long gone and pets need to hydrate in the winter too. Keep fresh water for them if they are outside. Make sure it is a plastic bowl to ensure the dogs tongue does not get stuck to the cold metal. Change the water often to keep from freezing or invest in a heated water dog bowl.

Chemicals

Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but a small amount is lethal. The most likely source of the poison is radiator drainage spots in your garage, which should be flushed with water immediately. A good solution is to buy animal safe antifreeze all the time. If you see your pet licking some call your vet immediately! Many de-icing and ice-melting products are toxic. Read the labels of any projects you use, and store these products in tight containers.

Warmth

If you have your dog groomed short, let it grow longer in the winter to keep them warm. They have their own fur coat. Certain breeds have shorter hair or are naturally lean could use a sweater or jacket to keep them warm. I have always had big hairy dogs so I didn’t give it much thought. Now with my business “4 Legs and a Leash” I deal with all different breeds and see the necessity.

Frostbite

Animals can get frostbite too. Frostbite is a dog’s winter hazard. Tips of tails and tips of ears and the pads are most susceptible. Even brief exposure to sub-zero temperatures can lead to frostbite of the feet, nose or ears. Gently warm the area with a wash cloth and luke-warm water. Watch for swollen paws, pads or ears. If he is frequently licking these areas you should call your Vet immediately.

Winter and Senior Dogs

Remember to be very careful with sick or older dogs, since they are more sensitive to cold weather. For any dog sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself. Arthritic dogs are very sensitive to the cold too.

Cold weather pet care is a matter of compassion and common sense.

4 Legs and a Leash

Now if you don’t care to walk your dog in the winter give 4 Legs and a Leash a call, 630-915-6912 and I would be happy to.

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