Winter pet care tips from a pro

As the temperatures continue to drop, we’re all in this together when we take our winter walks with our furry friends. It’s not just humans who need to stay warm in this chilly weather, because our dogs need some extra TLC.

Dog cottages collaborated with Clinical Animal Behaviorist Rachel Rodgers to give us some tips on how to keep our dogs safe and comfortable this winter.

According to Rachel, most pets are not used to extreme temperatures, so they can feel cold in sub-zero weather. It’s not a bad idea to get them a coat to help them stay warm. Hypothermia is when the body temperature drops below normal and can become a serious problem for dogs as well.

Rachel says the impact of cold weather depends on the individual dog and what they are used to. Dogs that are used to freezing or snowy conditions will probably cope with the cold without a coat because they are used to cold temperatures.

However, many of our dogs are used to being inside the warmth of our homes, so going out for a walk in sub-zero temperatures can be too cold for them. Certain types of dogs are more at risk in cooler temperatures.

Types of dogs at risk in colder temperatures

For example, puppies can be at risk, so you need to be extra careful when taking them outside in the cold. Smaller dogs and dogs with thinner coats or less body fat (such as greyhounds) could also be affected by cold temperatures.

Older dogs or dogs with health problems should be protected from the cold as it can worsen conditions such as arthritis. It is important to know the signs to look out for if your dog has a bad cold.

Signs that your dog may have a cold

If your dog slows his walk, feels cold to the touch, begins to breathe slowly or worsens, collapses during or after the walk, seek help from a veterinarian immediately. If any of these things happen, your dog needs to be warmed up slowly, so don’t use hot water bottles or heat pads.

Finally, don’t forget to protect your dog’s feet! During their winter walks, the ground could become covered with sand and deicer, which can be harmful to their feet. After a walk, be sure to clean your dog’s paws with warm water. You may want to apply foot balm to protect your feet from dry and cracked skin.

How to keep your pets safe in snow/freezing weather

5 ways to keep your pet safe in freezing weather and snow according to

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Gallery credit: Traci Taylor

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Read on to see which pets are banned in your state, as well as across the country.

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