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Winter storm watch again and winter dog protection

We have been getting blasted by old man winter this year, and there are many things we can do to help our pets survive and thrive.

All dogs benefit from dog coats or sweaters in the cold weather. If you have a puppy or older dog, it is a requirement! If you do not have a dog sweater or coat, you can make one from an old sweatshirt or pants. Measure the tubular part to fit around the barrel of your dog. Draw on the material the length of your dog, cut. Measure for the location to put two holes in for the front legs, cut. Try it on the dog and may necessary adjustments. You can add a roll collar by allowing a couple inches at the neck area, and roll. Making this out of sweat shirt material or fleece eliminates much sewing.

Clean water and availability is just as important as it is in the summer. Tepid water would be great and helps warm them from the inside out. Warm water will also encourage them to drink.

Keep your dog away from frozen ponds, ice or water areas. This is just not safe if your dog goes under. This is a tragedy that can be avoided.

Exercise is not worth the risk if it is severely cold. Be aware of frostbite on your dog and booties would be a welcome addition if the dog allows it. Vaseline petroleum jelly works well on their pads to prevent salt and other chemical irritants. Remember, antifreeze and salt is not a dog or human friend. Ingesting it can be fatal.

Do not leave your pet in a car this time of the year. Temperatures drop quickly and can be lethal.

If frostbite is suspected, contact your veterinarian as this is serious.