As the winter months near, we thought it would be a good idea to provide some great information for new dog owners, or offer a refresh to those of you that are seasoned pros.
It’s easy for us at humans to take all of the necessary precautions to prevent us from freezing or suffering from hypothermia. We can layer our, purchase warm socks, drink a cup of hot joe or cider, and curl of next to the fireplace. It is not quite as easy for man’s best friend. What this means for us is that we need to be aware of what keep are pups warm and healthy.
Whether you live in a warm state and need to take precautions from overheating and dehydrating, or you live in a winter wonderland and need to take precautions of hypothermia and keeping your dog warm, the bottom line is we need to be aware of a few things.
A dogs body temperature is higher than that of a humans. On average it is about 101-102 degrees. That means they can overheat fast and withstand cooler weather a bit better. However, like humans there is to cold for them as well. If their body temperature drops below 99 degrees, or over 103 degrees, it can be very dangerous for their health. It make it our responsibility as pet owners to keep their body temps in a safe range, between 99.5-103 degrees. Below or above that is very unhealthy for your animal. You should seek immediate professional assistance and take them to a vet as soon as possible.
Keeping Our Friends Warm.
- Save on Grooming. A dogs fur contributes to insulating them. During the colder winter months, refraining from that intense shave/cut will add an extra layer of warmth for your animal. Save a little of grooming bills and keep some hair! Do keep the area of their paws trimmed, as if you are outdoors, snow, ice, and salt can sneak between their paws.
- Sweaters. Dog sweaters offer an additional layer of protection. If your animal is hairless or very short haired, a thicker sweater may be necessary.
- Pet Boots. More than just a fashion statement, pet booties offer protection to the bottom of a dogs paws. The ground is cold. If it’s cold for you assume it’s cold for them. Same in the heat. Booties help to keep their little paws warm, as well as protected from snow, ice, salt and ground chemicals. Protect em’ and make em’ look good! If you don’t have pet booties, make sure to clean their feet after being outside. The snow can be filled with antifreeze and other chemical. Licking their paws after a walk without booties can prove to be dangerous.
- More Indoor Time. Depending on the weather in your area, keeping your dog indoors during the very cold months may be your best bet.
- Be Mindful of Cars. Just as leaving your animal in your car in the heat, the cold is just as dangerous.
- Heat. Keep them warm when you leave the house. Keep you thermostat a temperature to keep them warm, but not to fry them. You can overheat your dogs in the winter, if not careful.
- Be mindful of the bath. Last but not least, keep you dog clean, but make sure to dry pooch thoroughly after. Use a blow dryer if need be. Never take them outdoors with wet fur.
Having an dog is one a great, rewarding experience. Please me mindful of your dog and their over health!