Tips for A Happy Romp in the Snow with your Dog
Snow can be a delight for both man and animal. Who would not want to give their favorite canine a chance to frolic in it? Whether you live where it will be snowing, or you are simply traveling someplace frosty, its very important to keep the following safety tips in mind.
It is important to remember that an animal who is not acclimated to cold weather is definitely susceptible to the negative effects. Even a dog with a thick coat needs to be watched carefully. Dogs with little body fat or thin coats are especially in danger of hypothermia. Keep a close eye on your dog and hasten indoors at any signs of shivering or lethargy. Keep an eye on your dogs ears, tail, belly, and feet, as these areas are prone to frostbite. Discolored or waxy, stiff skin may be a sign of this serious threat, and immediate treatment from a vet should be sought if you suspect it.
After every outing, be sure to clean your dogs feet with warm water to get rid of any of the corrosive salts that may have been scattered to melt snow and ice. These salts are very irritating to skin, and a dogs feet as well as belly and nose need to be thoroughly cleaned of all traces. Also consider a moisturizer that has been approved for animal use, as most canine companions have somewhat sensitive foot pads. Painful, dry, cracked pads are a misery your pet need not endure. You may even consider booties for your dogs feet. Don’t be turned off by the idea that this is frivolous fashion. Purely utilitarian items such as snow boots and jackets are sold for dogs. Also make sure your pet’s collar and tags are up to date. More animals get lost in Winter than at any other time.
Always keep a sharp eye on your pet when outdoors in the snow. Various dangers abound, such as thin ice on frozen water, and antifreeze. Antifreeze is like candy to canines. One tongue swipe could be enough to kill a dog. So never leave your pet unattended on driveways or in the garage, where antifreeze may leak from a car. When letting your pet roam about in the snow or icy weather, be sure you have control and can summon them back at a moment’s notice if they venture toward any frozen lakes. A spill through the ice can easily mean death, even if you are able to rescue your pet.