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Kenmore Veterinary Hospital 6630 NE 181st St. Kenmore, WA 98028-4852   Call Us Today! 425-485-6575

4 Winter Weather Do’s and Don’ts for Dog Owners

If you live in a cold region, winter is a time to be mindful of possible dangers. The ice, snow, and cold bring a multitude of hazards that could jeopardize your pet’s well-being. Because some endangerments may be overlooked, be mindful of circumstances that may put your furry best friend at risk. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep your pet safe and healthy.

1. DO Provide Winter Outwear For Your Dog

J ust as humans need protection from the cold and windy winter weather, pets do as well. If you have a short-haired dog, provide your dog with canine outerwear when outside on a cold day. Dog sweaters and coats can help keep the chill away. Equally important, give your dog’s paws some attention and care.

Most sidewalks and walking paths will be covered in salt when snow and ice as an issue. The ice and salt can cause irritation to your dog’s paws. Ice and salt often become trapped between toes. If your pet tries to lick these particles off, he or she may be sickened from the chemicals in ice melt.

What is the best defense against such wintertime hazards to canine paws? Simply fit your furry companion with specially designed dog booties or snow boots. You may find dog boots at your pet shop or ask your veterinarian for advice.

When choosing dog boots for winter, be sure they have anti-slip soles with a texture to them. You should also choose a material that is water resistant, and be sure you obtain the correct size and fit.

2. DON’T Allow Access Rover to Frozen Ponds or Lakes

While this seems like an obvious no-no for pets and humans alike, sometimes the overly rambunctious dog slips away while frolicking outdoors. An icy pond may be an attraction for some dogs who want to reach the other side or simply investigate.

If you know of a frozen pond or lake nearby, keep your dog restrained and off the ice. Even without the ice breaking, a dog could slip and slide, straining muscles or becoming injured in some way. If the thin ice breaks under the weight of your dog, results could be tragic for your pet as well as the human trying to perform a rescue.

3. DO Recognize the Signs and First Aid Treatment of Frostbite

If your dog has somehow been exposed to the cold, you should know the symptoms of frostbite and how to perform necessary first aid. Check your dog’s tail, ears, and paws for redness, discoloration, and swelling. If the skin starts to slough away, frostbite could be advancing.

If you know of a frozen pond or lake nearby, keep your dog restrained and off the ice. Even without the ice breaking, a dog could slip and slide, straining muscles or becoming injured in some way. If the thin ice breaks under the weight of your dog, results could be tragic for your pet as well as the human trying to perform a rescue.

4. DON’T Let Your Dog Near the Fireplace or Heaters

Just as you enjoy snuggling up to a warm, cozy fire during cold weather, your pet may find comfort in doing the same. Pets do not always recognize the danger of fire, which is why you need to be careful. Sparks and embers from the fireplace could land on your dog, causing harmful burns. Place some type of gate or hearth cover in front of the fireplace when in use to prevent your pet from gaining access.

Also, don’t allow your dog to get close to the electric space heater which may be another burn hazard. In addition, your dog may knock the heater over, and this could result in an accidental fire.

If your dog experiences any wintertime injury or illness that does not respond to at-home care, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Kenmore Veterinary Hospital
6630 NE 181st St.
Kenmore, WA
98028-4852

425-485-6575

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