We have had a month (or longer) of below zero highs and I am ready for a ray of sunshine. The Frenchies are virtually refusing to go outside…even for a moment. I feel like I am a slave to their bodily functions – hahahah!
Enough whining…on to a positive subject! Here are a few more tips on cold weather and your dog. If you are blessed to live somewhere warmer…good for you! But for those of us in the cold…here goes!
Small dogs or those with little to no hair should have sweaters or jackets for protection against the cold. Some dogs absolutely love wearing sweaters or coats and some loathe it! Mudd dances to have a coat put on her, but Keeper will spin and roll and flop around until it comes off or I feel sorry for him and take it off. Don’t push it, just encourage them to wear one if need be.
Beware of FROZE TOES! Ice crystals can form when the heat of their foot hits frozen ground and makes a sharp little ice point. It hurts and they will hold their foot/feet up and usually cry. Warm the foot and get them back inside, the ground is too cold for their feet if this is happening. If your dog will tolerate it, consider foot protection booties. This can keep your dog’s feet safe from harm and give your dog a better grip and prevent slipping on ice. None of mine would wear them, but I do see lots of dogs sporting booties!
When walking your dog near ice, be extra extra careful. If need be, do the little old lady/man shuffle and take slow flat footed steps. Always keep a close watch your dog and be sure he says nearby. Do not allow your dog to run across frozen bodies of water – he could fall into icy water if the ice is too thin! Then you would have to try and save him, you would fall in and I would be watching you on some bizarre Discovery Channel special…beware of thin ice…nuff said! There is a reason that saying goes..”he was on thin ice.”
If you use enjoy using a fireplace, always keep a safety guard around it in order to protect your dog away from the flames and soot. Our Frenchies are really determined to play in the ashes…we do not know why! We have to watch them or they will get into the coals and get burned.
If your dog is in the cold and begins excessively shaking or shivering, get him back to warmth as soon as possible. DUH! As much as they might like it, keep your dog from eating snow. Dangerous objects or chemicals may be hidden in the snow. Excessive snow eating can even cause hypothermia! If you live in the country or have a lot of acerage, use your own judgment.
I saved the BIGGEST for last…Beware antifreeze – It is highly toxic! Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but even a small amount can kill your dog. Though exposure to antifreeze is a risk all year, the risk is especially high during the colder months. Keep your eyes on your dog at all times – and keep antifreeze out of reach. If you suspect your dog has had ANY exposure to antifreeze, get to a vet right away. PERIOD!