How to Protect Your Dog in the Winter Part 2

The cold weather can be hard on your furry friend.

There’s a lot to love about the winter. The snow is beautiful, the holidays are a blast and it gives you a great excuse to sport the best of winterwear, including scarves, beanies and sweaters. But, the cold weather the winter brings can be rough, and not just on us; it can be hard for our canine companions as well. Not many people — even dog owners — realize it, but the winter brings a wide range of unique challenges for dogs. There is good news, however. There are lots of things you can do to protect your dog in the winter, and in our veterinarian’s last blog, we went over a few of them. Here are a few more ways you can protect your dog this winter.

#4. Watch out for signs of pain.

Just like cold weather can make pain from arthritis and other joint issues in people more severe, it can do the same for dogs. If your dog has diabetes, arthritis or any other condition that affects their joints, watch out for signs of increased pain during the winter. For some dogs, it might help to cushion them against the cold by providing them with a pair of boots for added protection and comfort. It’s also smart to talk to our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens about possible treatment options.

#5. Never leave your dog in a cold vehicle.

Most people are fully aware of how cruel and inhumane it is to leave a dog outside in a hot car, but not many people give a second thought to a dog left inside of a car on a cold day. However, a vehicle left outside in the cold can cool down a lot faster than you might think, so even if you leave your dog in the car while you’re out running errands, they could get cold out there waiting for you. And, while leaving a dog in a cold car isn’t quite as risky as leaving them in a hot car, your dog isn’t immune to the cold, and they will likely be uncomfortable.

#6. Be aware of hazards inside your home.

In this blog series, we’ve talked a lot about cold-weather related dangers outside of the home, but there are hazards inside of the home that dog parents need to be aware of. For example, many people use space heaters to get warm, but be careful, as dogs can all too easily knock one over accidentally and start a fire. Dogs have also been known to burn themselves on spaces heaters and heating pads.

If you keep antifreeze around, make sure to keep it in a safe place where your dog can’t get anywhere near it. And, if you accidentally spill it, make sure to clean it up completely. Dogs like to lick it up because of its sweet taste, but it can be deadly when it’s ingested

#7. Play with your dog inside or when the sun is shining.

All dogs need to be able to play and get exercise every day, regardless of what the weather is like outside. But, cold weather can severely limit playtime, at least outdoors. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to get your dog a little exercise and playtime inside:

  • Run with your dog up and down the stairs of your building.
  • Play keep away or fetch.
  • Set up obstacles courses with things you have at home, like hula hoops or seat cushions.
  • Play hide and go seek.
  • Walk your dog on a treadmill.
  • Play tug of war.

These indoor activities aren’t exactly equivalent to running with your dog through the park for a half an hour or taking them on a long walk, but they’ll help to expend some energy on those days when it’s just too cold to play outside. It’s also important to take advantage of playing outside on winter days when the sun is shining and the temperature is a little higher.

We hope that these tips will help you enjoy a safe, healthy winter with your dog. And, if you have questions or concerns, or you would like to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens, give us a call today! We’re happy to help!

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