If you’re headed outside with your dog in cold weather, consider their comfort. Heavy-coated breeds like Newfoundlands or Siberian Huskies love chilly temps, while Boxers and Chihuahuas are shivering. A cozy pet sweater or jacket is wise for smaller dogs and short-haired breeds. Also consider:
Time and temperature
While it’s important for dogs to get regular exercise, limit their time outdoors during freezing weather. Prolonged exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite. When you do take them out, wipe their paws afterward to remove any ice, salt or chemicals. Consider booties to protect tender paws.
Health and behavior
Cold weather can exacerbate certain health issues, especially in older pets. Keep an eye out for signs of arthritis, like stiffness, or chronic respiratory illness. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, consult your veterinarian promptly.
Power outages and emergencies
Winter storms can lead to power outages. Have an emergency kit ready for your pets, including food, water, medications and their favorite toys. Also, have a plan in case you need to evacuate, ensuring your pets are part of that plan.
Finally, don’t buy into the myth that fleas and ticks are killed off after a freeze. Fleas can survive indoors, and while tick activity is lower in cold weather, it’s still a risk. Keep up on flea and tick medications year-round.
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