Winter Newsletter 2011 :Winter Tips
Harsh winter weather brings a wide variety of concerns to responsible dog owners. Bitter cold, numbing wetness, biting winds and salt can cause much grief for that special dog in your life. To assure your canine companion stays healthy and safe through the long, winter months, follow these guidelines.
- Wind chill causes colder conditions than what is read on a thermometer. Dogs shouldn’t be left outside for long periods of time. Even a half hour in frigid temperatures can cause problems. Be sure to keep a sharp eye on your dog’s body temperature and never leave him in the yard for more than 10 minutes when temperatures dip below freezing.
- Always be sure your dog has adequate shelter where it will be warm and dry. Be sure that he isn’t lying in a drafty area. Place his bed, blanket or pillow on tile and wood floors to give him a warm place to sleep.
- Groom your canine companion on a regular basis. A coat that is well maintained is well insulated. Shorthaired dogs and those with coarse coats get cold easily. Consider purchasing a blanket, coat or sweater to keep your dog warm.
- If you own a working dog, or if your canine companion spends hours outdoors, feed it extra calories. In winter, dogs need extra energy to regulate body temperature. Extra food provides necessary nutrients to see your dog through the most frigid days.
- Use caution if you and your dog are walking, playing or working around frozen creeks, rivers, lakes or streams. If your dog jumps or slips into frigid water, his body temperature will drop quickly. Dogs can die from hypothermia, just as humans can.
- Never leave your dog alone in a vehicle. If the engine is off, he can die from hypothermia. If the engine is left running, he can be overcome with carbon monoxide fumes.