Sunday, February 2, 2014

Colorado Wintertime Dog Safety Tips


Snow Running With Ringo - Aspen Lake Road (The...
Wintertime in Boulder, Colorado
If your dog spends much time outdoors during the winter months be on the lookout for frostbite on sensitive, exposed areas, like ears and tails.   Dogs that spend much time outside must have adequate shelter from the elements.  It is not just kind and a good idea; it is the regulation in most cities, like  Denver or Boulder.  The general rule of thumb is; if you wouldn't stay out for long in the bad weather, your dog probably shouldn't either.  During the winter outdoor dogs can need up to thirty percent more food to provide the extra energy to maintain their body heat.  Water should be changed frequently and not be allowed to freeze.
 
Dog in boots
Cool Boots
Walks in the snow with your dog can still be fun, just be mindful of your pal’s paws.  Salt and de-icing chemicals can burn and irritate already dried and winter sensitive pads.  Clean their paws and check for cracks and abrasions after each outdoor excursion.  Prevent your dog from licking his feet clean, as he might end up with unwanted salts and chemical burns in his mouth and nose as well. Some dogs might even benefit from dog boots.  Boots can improve traction for dogs on icy surfaces as well as provide protection.

Finished dog sweater
Dogs’ arthritis and joint pain can be worse during the cold winter months.  Be sure your pooch is current on pain and inflammation medications and ask about appropriate natural options and therapies.    A warm sweater can also help ease stiff joints.   Warm dog clothing is a good idea for dogs of all ages and sizes that are used to being indoors and may not tolerate extreme temperatures.

Dog clothing is not just to keep the dog warm and dry; nowadays you can buy dog gear with reflective markings.  These can keep your dog safe during walks when the days are short and visibility poor.   Reflective gear (collar, harness, and sweater) is especially helpful in the case of a dog that becomes lost during the dark winter months.

Check your local Humane Society or Dumb Friends League for more helpful tips pertinent in your area.  
  


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