It can seem like a layer of fur is all a pup needs to get through the winter, but there are plenty of dangers that can place our dogs at risk in winter months, even in warm states.
Cold Weather Tips & Temperatures
The idea that all dogs can survive all cold weather conditions just because they have a fur coat is a misconception. Fur can provide protection, but just like humans, they aren’t impervious to all weather.
Some breeds are better built for cold weather conditions. And there are degrees of tolerance. However, nobody is built for weather extremes. Even hardy breeds can end up with hypothermia if concern and attention are not paid to their comfort limits.
Frostbite is a concern for all breeds. Even the thickest fur coat cannot protect paws, noses, tails, and ears from the frosty nip of winter. Pups who love to spend time in the cold should still have a warm, dry place to lay down and rest their extremities.
Hydration is important in cold weather. Whether it’s a heated water bowl or an indoor escape, remember that water freezes in cold outdoor temps. Also, drinking cold water in cold weather isn’t comfortable for anyone and can speed hypothermia.
A little extra food at mealtime can keep Fido strong and healthy. Just like us, it takes them more energy to stay warm. The extra calories will be put to good use.
Even though we aren’t dealing with summer heat, leaving our dog in the car is a no-no. It gets cold, and unlike the warm surroundings of a home, there’s no way for a dog to generate enough heat to stay warm. Cars become refrigerators in the winter.
If it’s too cold for us to be outside, it’s too cold for our canine companions. Even those with a high cold tolerance who love spending hours on end outdoors in the snow need a way to get inside and warm up when they are ready.
We need to be careful to prevent the possibility of poisoning. Anti-freeze is a common chemical during the winter months and spills are a risk for curious pups. Our companions need us to clean up spills and make sure bottles are stored with a tightly closed lid.
The cold weather can be a time for colds and lowered immune systems. We can take a little vitamin C and other boosters when we feel under the weather, but our pups need us to do this for them. One of the best cold weather tips out there is to use EcoImmune - an important powdered supplement that boosts immunity and strengthens our fur-babies resistance to the common dog-cold.
Winter Skincare Isn’t Just For Humans
Winter air has a drying effect, and it sucks the moisture out of everything. Pets can suffer from dry winter skin just like anyone else, and it can be tough to detect with that layer of fur. There are plenty of cold weather tips that can help in this area.
Take shorter walks more often. The shorter length will limit the risk of frostbite. If we add a little olive oil to the hair between their toes, it will help prevent ice and snow buildup that can irritate their paws.
Invest in a quality humidifier to run in the winter months. Not only will it keep sinuses and eyes from feeling dry, but it will help everyone’s skin maintain a healthy moisture barrier.
Instead of shaving our pups, we can choose a moisturizing conditioner at bathtime and limit baths to longer intervals. Fewer baths will help ensure their natural oils can build a protective layer.
If we towel dry our canine companions when they return from a walk or come inside to warm up, we’ll help them warm up more quickly and will reduce the amount of moisture-sucking evaporation their skin has to withstand.
Fashion can be functional. Booties can be useful to protect paws from snow and ice if our pups can wear them comfortably. Those adorable rain jackets and windbreakers also have a purpose this time of year.
This can be a magical time of year for the whole family, but only if we recognize the needs of those around us, our fur-babies included. These cold weather tips are a great checklist to make sure we are all keeping our pups happy, healthy, and warm. Please send us your best pics of your canine companions in their fashion-forward winter wear. And don’t forget that EcoImmune is your pup’s best immunity defense year-round, but during the winter months, in particular.
Michelle is a writer and ghostwriter, specializing in wellness, sustainability, and global social change. She is particularly fond of serving ethical organizations who contribute to a better life for people and animals through humane and environmentally responsible missions. At Vet Organics, Michelle uses her time as a vet tech, her academic studies in animal science and behavior, and nearly a decade working on a ranch teaching animal husbandry to write on a variety of cat and canine health topics. When she isn't writing, Michelle can be found hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her dogs or snuggled up with a good book and her cats.
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*Results may vary based on factors such as age, size and physical condition of your pet.
Vet Organics supplements are manufactured from natural and organic materials known to improve a pet's health and quality of life. If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from a severe medical condition, consult your veterinarian immediately.
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