Athough this winter’s weather conditions have been mercifully mild so far, this weekend’s Rocky Mountain snow storm is a reminder that dogs have special needs in cold weather conditions.
As the blustery winds sweep over the Front Range, lowering the mercury and increasing the likelihood of snow, water spots freeze and dry air can cause static electricity.
Shoveling a brief circular trail through your yard, and past his favorite tree, gives your dog a quick place to take care of their personal business, and perhaps get in some much needed sniffing.
After your dog has been playing in the snow, check his feet. There may be snow frozen between his toes. This can be unpleasant for dogs, and lead to cracking of the pads of their feet.
Snow can also stick to a dog's feet, ears, tail, and undercarriage, becoming cold and painful. Taking the time to wipe them off with a towel increases your pal’s comfort and saves you some cleanup when they melt.
If necessary, you can remove stuck snow using a warm wash cloth. Trimming excessive hair between your dog’s toes can also help to prevent some sticking as well.
If you have a breed that is small, hairless, or doesn’t have a thick coat, consider buying them a sweater or even booties. You can find excellent selections online or at local pet stores.
No one wants to be left outside in the cold, especially young puppies. Puppies and small dogs can not generate body heat as well as older and bigger dogs. Bring them inside where it is warm.
Beware of two chemical concerns common to this time of year. If your dog has been out on salted sidewalks, rinse and dry off their paws. Also, be careful of frozen car chemicals such as antifreeze--it is extremely poisonous.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a cold weather malady, contact a qualified animal care provider, such as the Longs Peak Animal Hospital at 9727 Ute Highway in Longmont, Colorado.
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