Tips for Winter Care
Dogs engaged in outdoor activities should have an increase of food supply and water to stay healthy.
Transitioning between cold and inside may cause itchy, flaky skin. After outdoor activities, wipe dog’s legs and stomach. Salt, antifreeze and other potentially dangerous chemicals may be stuck to fur and paws.
Paw pads may also bleed from exposure to snow or ice. Applying petroleum jelly to paw pads before outdoor exposure helps protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties also minimize contact with harmful skin irritants.
Trim long-haired dogs to minimize clinging of ice balls but do not shave down to the skin. Dressing your dog in a sweater or coat helps retain body heat and prevents the fur and skin from getting wet.
Cold Increases Dogs’ Sensitivity
Snow or ice especially in snowstorms can cause dogs to lose their scent and become lost. More dogs are lost in winter than any other time of year — make sure your dog wears ID tags.
Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as mature dogs possibly causing a difficult housebreaking situation. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the cold weather paper-training inside might be an option.
Other dogs may be sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed. Take these dogs outside only to get rid of bodily waste.
Keep Cats Indoors
Outdoor cats can freeze, become lost, or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats allowed to stray could be exposed to infectious diseases from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
Outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of vehicles. When the engine is started the fan belt can injure or kill the cat.
If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood bang on the hood of your vehicle before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
Winter Care Tips acquired from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals