Phew! It’s cold out there so us dogs need to be prepared for the winter. Here’s some wintery myths and truths about winter and us pooches.
Fur protects all dogs from the cold weather
Our fellow doggy friend the Siberian Husky has a coat that can deal with the cold, but just because we may have a long or thick coat, does not mean that we are prepared for the winter weather.
During cold weather cut back on grooming your coat but do keep paws and nails trimmed, as you may not get much hard groundwork if it’s been snowing. Keep the fur short around your pads though as it will keep snow build-up to a minimum. Invest in a dog coat – a high visibility one will ensure you can be seen on dark nights. We have nice warm winter coats. There’s plenty of choice for coats and the important thing is to be warm and not about who has a Versace, M&S or Primark coat.
Is it safe to eat snow?
We are too young to fully appreciate the fun that you can have in snow, but we are sure it will happen one day. To get some tips, advice and gossip, we have been pricking our ears up and hearing the woofs on the woof-line.
Snow seems to be something fun and cold, our pawrents love to make snowballs for us to catch or try and find. This is where the problems can arise because while we are rummaging nose first through the snow we have no idea what all the white cold stuff has covered. We could be heading for a cut nose, find a dead animal, lick at some snow that has animal waste on it……getting the picture! So do be aware!
Are we less likely to get dehydrated in colder weather?
Hoomans seem to think that we get more dehydrated in hot weather. Actually, we lose a lot of our body moisture through our breath. The winter can bring many dry days, so make sure you have plenty of H2O with your food and keep your water bowl topped up.
Our waste dissolves in the snow!
With paws to our ears we cannot believe this has been woofed about.
Just because there is snow on the ground does NOT give our pawrents the right not to clean up after us. No matter what the weather is like you MUST do the dutiful thing and clean up your waste.
As for whether it dissolves……the answer is simple……NO!
The cold weather slows down the biodegradation process which means any waste that is left becomes a health hazard as it attracts rodents and bacteria. Also, it can spread disease from dog to dog.
Dogs can’t get fleas or ticks through the winter
Ok, so during the colder months most pests are killed off, but fleas and ticks seek out the warmth, so the enticing warmth of a house is a great place for them.
Just because the weather is cold or snowing, don’t stop your checks for these little nuisances. Make sure you keep your treatment up to date as well
We don’t need paw protection for short walks
Why should a short walk do any damage to our paws? Our paws are less sensitive than hooman feet, but I’m sure they wouldn’t walk outside in the snow in bare feet!
Like hoomans we can also get frost bite. But there are other factors to consider…..such as the salt used to melt ice and anti-freeze; the salt can burn your pads making them sore and the anti-freeze can actually soak into your pads making you very ill or worse, poisoned.
So it may be worth considering investing in a pair of doggy boots. If you feel you are ok not having boots, then please ensure you wash your paws when you get home, just to wash the nasties away.
We can remove excess snow from our bodies by ourselves!
If you try keeping clean by using your tongue and removing snow clumps in your fur….you’re heading for a seriously aching tongue.
The winter cold dries out your skin; constant licking and gnawing will cause skin irritation.
Make sure your human dries you with a towel when you’ve been out, carefully picking off clumps of snow – don’t forget to check in between your pads.
AND, because you’ve been out in the cold…..you will need lots and lots and lots of snuggles.
Woofs Thor & Loki – Barking Bugle Health & Lifestyle Repawters