It never matters what season it is…dogs will want to frolic and play and get their daily exercise in even in winter. However, as the owner of a dog, you have to be always on-guard about potential risks that dogs can be exposed to in the outdoors. Generations of dogs being indoor and straying steadily further and further away from their ancient ancestor, the wolf, has led to them not being as adaptable to the climate as they used to be.
#1 Watch out for man made chems that will harm your dog!
If your dog comes in from outside, and it’s covered in any snow or ice or anything of the sort, your first task is to immediately brush your dog off, not for the sake of your floors getting wet, but if your dog goes to lick its paws, it may ingest man-made chemicals that were put into the snow, such as antifreeze (it may have dripped down from your vehicle, and your dog may have walked over that spot at some point). Antifreeze is a lethal thing to ingest on the part of dogs (and cats), same with coolant and other similar winter materials.
#2 Salt is also a big issue for dogs
Dogs need to ingest a lot of water in their life to stay hydrated (all of that running around does a number on them), and if your dog ingests salt that you may have sprinkled on the front walkway to melt the ice (through licking its paw or coat), this could be a rather dangerous thing for your dog.
#3 Practice good winter grooming habits!
If you have a habit of shaving your dog right down to the skin, refrain from doing so during the winter, as you are robbing your dog of its only major heating source. A fur coat packs in the heat to a fair degree to allow dogs to manage in colder weather (although it’s a terrible thing in summer). You may have even wished you had a fur coat of your own…so keep that in your mind’s back.
#4 Pay spesh attention to senior dogs’ needs!
Dogs (especially older ones) can suffer from joint pain during the winter months as well. Using a natural supplement, such as fish oil or something similar to it, can really help your dog, as joint pain can be comparable to us having arthritis or osteoporosis. Ask your vet about fish oil and Omega 3 supplements for your dogs joint health.
It’s also important to make sure that you and your dog stay active during the cold winter months! If you don’t feel like braving the weather, we certainly don’t mind doing it for you!