Is it Cold Yet?

I can remember what life was like for me as a new dog mom in 2007. I had no clue on what to do for my dog when the weather changed. In my mind, I figured if I dressed him up in little cute sweaters everyday would do the trick. But in reality it did not. I did not realize what it took to make sure that my dog adjusted well to the cooler temperatures.

But since we are in the kick off of the fall and winter (well, I think we are), I have come up with a list of tips to help your dog adjust to the cooler temperatures.

  • In the colder climates and chillier temperatures, coats and booties can help your dog stay warm. In particular, short-haired or elderly dogs benefit from wearing a coat or sweater. Look for coats or sweaters with high collars or a turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath.

  • 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, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If necessary, paper-train your puppy inside if he appears to be sensitive to the weather.

  • To help protect dry, sensitive paws, try coating them with a bit of cooking spray before walks in very cold weather.

  • Do not be tempted to let dogs off their leash in snow, ice, or rain. Dogs often lose their scent in cold weather and can easily become lost. Dogs can also panic in snowstorms (something we never have) or thunderstorms which will cause them to wither freak out or run away. The decreased daylight does not help either. More dogs are reported lost during the winter than any other season, so always keep dogs on a leash when outside a fully fenced yard and make sure your dog always wears proper identification

  • Comb your dog’s hair regularly. Two reasons, (1) their coats change to become thicker and they are shedding more hair and (2) the dry air in the homes depletes moisture from dog skin and fur.

  • A thick-coated dog typically needs grooming in cold weather. The fur can get wet and matted, making it an irritant. Clean fur lofts and holds air in a manner similar to layering clothes, thus helping the animal stay warm.

  • Never leave your dog alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. The animal can freeze to death.

  • Provide your pet with a warm place to sleep, away from drafts and off cold, hard floors. Dog beds with a warm blanket or cover are especially cozy.

  • Remember, dogs are domesticated animals that should live indoors with their human companions. Living outside in a doghouse is not the best for your pet, especially in cold, hot and wet weather.

Remember these are some helpful tips to get you through the cooler months.

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