When summer started to creep up on us, we wrote about Summer Dog Care. Now the fall season is upon us and it is time to talk about caring for your dog in the cold months.
To start off, there are some “General Concerns” to be covered.
- Keep your pup inside
As fall sets in, the weather gets colder and wetter (at least here in the Pacific Northwest). It is important to let your dog out to go potty, of course, but do not leave them outside for long periods of time in this weather.
- Even inside gets cold during the fall and winter months
If your house has uncarpeted floors, be sure to lay down some blankets or a doggy bed for your pet. Dogs will lay on the ground, but if it is too chilly, they won’t be able to get comfortable, get good rest, etc. Think about it – when you’re too hot or too cold during the night, do you sleep well?
- Don’t take your dog near frozen bodies of water
It is easy for your dog to slip or fall through the ice. Simply do not take your dog near these sorts of dangers. If it cannot be avoided, keep your dog close to you and as far away from the frozen water as possible.
- Continue to walk your dog
Your dog’s exercise is still important during this time of year. Be cautious when walking your dog during this time as there may be ice on the ground that could hurt them. Also, the rock salt used on roads to melt ice can be harmful to your dog’s paws. Be sure to wipe their paws after a walk.
- Do not leave your dog in a car alone!
No, it is not 100 degrees out; but it is still important to not leave your dog alone in a car. The cold can be just as damaging as the heat.
Health concerns are also relevant during the this season.
- As the weather changes, antifreeze leaks and pups tend to think it is a treat
Cars sitting in driveways and on streets tend to leak antifreeze during the cold season. While your dog thinks it smells and tastes great, antifreeze is poisonous and can be fatal. Do not let your dog lick up antifreeze!
- They need fresh water just as much in the fall and winter as in the summer
Despite the lack of heat during this time of year, dogs can still become easily dehydrated. It is important to continue to give your dog fresh water throughout the day.
- Turn on the fireplace, mobile heater, etc. but make sure your dog cannot reach it
Dogs are curious. The moment you use or bring out something new, they will want to smell it. Beyond this, when the new thing is a heat source during the cold months, your dog may want to get cozied up against it, giving them severe burns. Be sure to manipulate the area so your dog will not get too close to the fireplace, mobile heaters, etc.
While there is more to be covered, these are some of the basics of caring for your dog in the cold season. Make sure your pup stays warm, is not outside for too long, be cautious of ice as well as heat sources and generally pay attention to your dog’s behavior and you will have a happy, warm dog throughout the cold months!
Source: American Kennel Club