The long, cold winter months often bring a lot of trouble and difficulties for humans. In fact, just shoveling the snow can cause as many as 100 deaths every year in the United States. From shoveling to slipping and sliding everywhere, going outside is often dreaded when the snow comes. But it’s not just humans who have to be extra cautious when outside in the cold, it’s animals too. So if you have a dog that needs to go outside each day, let’s take a look at a few extra steps you can take to protect them from the elements
Chase the Sun
While it may not seem like it, the sun does shine during the winter months. But because of the shorter days and regular overcast skies, it’s not always easy to get outside when it’s sunny. However, you should always try to take your furry friend on walks when the sun is out. Consider walking them in the late morning or early afternoon for the best chance of catching some sun. If there’s a particularly sunny day, take advantage of the light and go on a long walk. The sun can help add some extra warmth, and vitamin D is good for both of you.
Protect Their Paws
Animals are susceptible to winter health risks like frostbite and hypothermia just like humans are. Which is why you need to be extra mindful of keeping them warm outside. A dog’s tail, ears, and legs are at the highest risk for frostbite — and while there isn’t much you can do to keep those body parts covered, you can keep their paws protected. With most U.S. households having at least one pet, there are plenty of products available today that can help protect dog’s paws, like booties or special creams. If you have a small dog, you may want to invest in a sweater or jacket as well. But overall, it’s important to protect their body from the cold. And you should always look for warning signs of frostbite, which include pale, grey skin or hard and cold skin. If you think your pup has frostbite, get them to the vet right away.
Be Aware of Heaters
Heaters are often a lifesaver during the winter months. But while they help keep everyone nice and toasty, they can also be dangerous. If dogs seek out a heat source and snuggle up next to it, they are at risk of being burned. So if you do use extra heat sources, like space heaters or fireplaces, make sure your dog can’t sit right next to it. If your dog is looking for extra heat in the house, consider adding some extra cozy bedding for them to cuddle up in. Keep your dogs bed raised off of cold floors whenever possible and add some extra blankets. There are even heated pet beds if you want to go the extra mile. All in all, make sure your pup has somewhere warm and cozy to lay so they don’t seek out heaters and risk being burned.So if you’re one of the 44% of U.S. households that have a dog, it’s important to keep them in mind this winter. Following these simple tips will help keep your furry friend warm and safe all winter long.