Puffy coats, rain boots, and gloves, oh my! As the temperature shifts from sunny and 75 to 40 and freezing, make sure you’re taking the proper precautions for you and your best friend. To help make the transition to the winter months as smooth (and warm) as possible, we gathered a few tips every pet parent should practice. Check out our five essential dog winter safety tips.
1. Leash Your Pets
Most pet parents don’t realize the incredible risk cold weather poses to their fur babies. Dog safety in the winter can save you and your pet from stressful moments. Snowfall, for instance, can mask hazardous areas and create a dangerous situation for you and your pet. To minimize your risk, be sure to keep your pet leashed during walks. This is especially when in a familiar area. Snow covers scents and decreases visibility; if your pup gets spooked, she may run away.
Leashing your dog also prevents them from:
- Running into traffic
- Scaring a passerby
- Falling through ice
- Getting lost
2. Keep Pets Comfortable
Pets who are advanced in age or have medical issues should only be walked for short periods of time. Cold weather tends to aggravate or worsen joint issues. Prevent your dog from enduring extreme discomfort by limiting outdoor time to 15 or 20 minutes.
Other cold-weather safety recommendations that keep your pet comfortable include:
- Moving their bed away from drafty areas
- Using a space heater
- Limiting jumps, use of stairs
Although signs and symptoms will vary, most dogs with arthritis exhibit one or more of the following:
- Changes in behavior
- Limps when walking
- Stiff movements
- Licks joints constantly
- Avoids climbing
If you suspect our pet may have joint issues, contact your veterinarian.
3. Avoid Bathing Your Pet
Due to the dry and cool winter air, your pup’s skin needs oils more than any other time of year. Lack of these essential oils will cause your dog to have dry, flaky skin. If your must clean your dog, limit air drying after baths. Instead, use The Absorber® Dog Lover's Towel. This unique cloth dries dogs more efficiently than cotton and microfiber towels. It’s the best way to keep your pet comfortable, happy, and warm.
4. Know Your Pet’s Limits
You know your pet better than anyone. Be mindful of your breed, comfort level, and tolerance of certain environments.
Short hair dogs: Usually have a harder time adjusting to cold weather.
Long hair dogs: May be able to withstand cold temperatures, but that doesn’t mean they should.
Indoor dogs: Typically have soft paws and are more likely to react to ice and snow.
Outdoor dogs: Shouldn’t be left outside during the winter. Freezing temperatures can cause a series of physical issues.
Other cold winter safety tips include:
- Apply petroleum jelly to paw pads
- Use booties to prevent injury
- Don’t leave your pet outdoors or in a car
5. Beware of Chemicals
Snow and salt can erode your pet’s paws. Not to mention, antifreeze and other chemicals applied during the winter months are harmful to your dog’s health. After each trip outdoors, wipe down your dog’s legs and paws with a gentle but super-absorbent Dog Lover's Towel. You’ll be able to safely capture toxic chemicals before your dog licks them off her fur or paws.
Prioritize Your Pet’s Cold Weather Safety
Don’t let the winter months wreak havoc on your pets. Keep them warm and safe all season long with our five essential winter tips. Remember, your dogs are sensitive to changes in temperature like you. If you’re cold, so are they—which is why prioritizing dog safety in the winter is important. Use precaution when walking your pet and always wipe in between their paws with The Absorber®. We have a range of sizes to accommodate every dog in your life.