Snow can make for the best playgrounds for our 4-legged friends, but just like us human’s there some precautions we all need to take once the temperature drops. Our local friends at Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary gave us the following tips so we can keep our furry trail buddies safe.
- A pet with any mobility issue like a past knee surgery, hip dysplasia, or arthritis, will have difficulty with balance on the ice or thick snow. Use pet-safe salt on walkways to prevent a slip and fall.
- A longer coat will provide more warmth, so skip the usual shave at the groomer’s. Make sure he or she is completely dry before going outside into the cold, or consider a cute sweater.
- Dogs are not as able to pick up scents in the snow, so keep your dog on leash during periods of heavy snow. Make sure they are wearing tags with identification if they happen to get turned around.
- Make sure your dog has a warm place to sleep. A fuzzy dog bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect, unless he or she sleeps in bed with you!
- If your dog usually spends the day outside, bring him or her inside. Dogs die every winter of exposure in outside dog houses because their coat is not thick enough to keep them warm and their water bucket has frozen over.
- Wiping off your dog’s legs and tummy when he or she comes in from outside will help stop him or her from licking potentially hazardous chemicals that humans use in the winter, such as salt or antifreeze, as well as causing dry or irritated skin.
- Never leave your dog alone in a car during cold weather. It doesn’t stay warm enough to keep them safe.
- Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age or coat type, let him or her out only for potty break and then come in for warm cuddles.