Potty Patch Area – It’s wintertime and the snow is starting to pile up. After shoveling the driveway don’t forget to brush away a clear path and area to Scooby Doo’s favorite potty patch. This might not be such a problem if you have a bigger sized dog. However, for smaller dogs that have to fight their way in 16 inches of Detroit snow won’t be so excited to “drop chow” in the cold. Heck would you?
Doggie Fitness – Dogs by nature love the outdoors. They love to play, rip, run, and sniff stuff. However, during cold weather months pet owners need to pay more attention to the time spent outside. Pet owners should limit their dogs’ time outside to reduce exposure. When outdoors, dress your dog with an insulated vest, sweater and doggie boots to protect their paws and core.
Nutrition & Adequate Hydrations – Dogs that spend most of their time outdoors may need more calories to maintain their energy level in cold weather. Always check with your vet regarding all changes to your dog’s diet. It’s also important to make sure your dog has adequate water outside. Keep it fresh and in a plastic bowl (avoid metal) to prevent it from freezing - contrary to popular belief dogs cannot break ice in a water bowl and you do not want them licking ice or eating snow as a way to hydrate. Snow and ice in an urban setting can be filled with toxins from salt and other antifreeze products that are harmful to your dog’s digestive system.
In The Dog House – If your dog must spend significant time outdoors, Detroit Dog Rescue encourages pet owners to provide adequate sheltering and bedding. Keeping your dog tied up to the porch, stairs, fence or a tree is not cool or humane. A good way to keep your dog secure and comfortable is in a doghouse - raised off the ground with a roof to shed away the elements. In the doghouse make sure you keep enough straw (avoid hay) to provide a nice bedding for your dog. Straw keeps mold and bacteria down and is a great insulator in the house.
Pet Safety & Winter Hazard – In extreme cold weather believe-it-or-not your dog can get frostbite on their paw-pads. Prolonged contact with frozen ground surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can be dangerous for dogs. Be aware of harmful substances such as road salt and other ice melting antifreeze products that can get lodged in between paws causing an irritation or chemical burn. Always wipe down your dog’s paws after spending time outside - this will prevent them from digesting any toxic materials when they decide to lick and clean themselves.
Don’t Leave Dog in Car – You would think this warning falls into having common sense? Don’t leave your dog in the car unattended for anytime during extreme weather periods – cold or hot. Just because most dogs have fur does not mean they can stand near artic or below temperatures. Sure some dog breeds may fair better in colder temperatures, but play it smart and safe – take Lassie with you or leave her at home!
Groom Regularly - Just a few simple but helpful tips from Detroit Dog Rescue to keep you and your dog happy during the dog days of winter.Your pet needs a well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. Short or coarse-haired dogs might get extra cold so consider a sweater or a coat. Long-haired dogs
￼should have their paw hair trimmed to ease in cleaning and snow removal.
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