2 Things Southwest Michigan Pet Owners Must Know
Even though dogs can adjust to all seasons there are 2 things every pet owner MUST be aware of.
If your dog is like mine, they love the snow! My dog will walk and play outside until little balls of snow are frozen to her fur, and that is dangerous. Even though I love seeing her happy, she does not know what is best for her, and I have to be the "bad guy" and bring her inside before she is harmed. According to dogsnaturallymagazine.com there are two warnings all dog owners should take notice of...
"Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing to remember about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. Watch for signs of pale or grey skin; the skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off."
"A second serious winter weather concern is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold temperatures or when dogs with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver; ears and feet may grow cold. As hypothermia progresses, she may show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition worsens, her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates slow down, and she will not respond to stimuli. Severe hypothermia is life threatening."
Armed with those two facts, here are 5 more important tidbits to make your pet more comfortable during the winter months
- Go Outside- spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny because the temps will be higher; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D.
- Warm Bedding - don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints.
- Keep Your Pups Skin Moisturize - Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to his food. Coconut and fish oils are easy foods that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.
- Good Grooming - A well-groomed coat to keep a dog properly insulated.
- Keep Your Fur Baby Hydrated - Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water.
Winter can be a blast with your fur-baby, especially if we keep them safe and warm.