Friday, March 7, 2008

Keeping your Furry Friends Warm and Safe!

Spring is around the corner, yet it is still cold out there. Here are some tips to keep your dog warm and safe through the cold months.

Bring out the coats and boots for your furry friend!

Most dogs do have a coat of fur. However, this “coat” may not be sufficient enough to keep your “baby” warm and safe. When the weather changes, we are all affected, including our dogs. This is especially true when the ice and snow hit. How would you feel if you had to go out to go to the bathroom with only your clothes and no shoes? Likely, not very warm!

Consider getting your dog a warm winter coat and boots. Your dog will welcome the warmth, especially when the temperature hits zero or below. Yes, dogs can withstand temperature better than humans; however, they can only handle so much. Dogs, by nature, love the outdoors. They especially love it when it snows. I know my dogs just love to run around, and my sister’s big German Shepherd actually catches snowballs!

Getting your dog a coat and boots will allow her to be able to get the exercise she needs outside because she can stay out for longer periods of time. They get so cooped up in the cold months that they tend to cause trouble. So, when you are pulling out the coats, don’t forget your dog’s coat!

Remember to supply a shelter for your dog when he is outside.
Not only should dogs that spend most of their time outside have coats, at the very least, it is very important to supply a good, strong shelter to keep the wind off of them. Dogs can and will freeze to death, even if they have the thickest fur available. Be sure that the dog house is well insulated. And, although you would think a big dog house is nice to have, in the winter, it is simply not. Your dog’s house should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, completely inside. This will keep his body heat contained and keep him warm. A dog house that is too big will not retain the heat from his body and he will be very cold. A nice warm dog bed and coat will help him keep warm.

How can eating snow be dangerous?
All animals need fresh water. Although it may SEEM that snow would be the answer for giving your dog fresh water, it is not a substitute and can pose to be dangerous to your dog. How? When your dog eats snow, it makes him even thirstier, and the snow will bring his body temperature down. This puts your dog at risk for hypothermia. Although it is a pain in the winter to keep a fresh supply of water, you must be sure your dog has access to fresh, not frozen water.

Antifreeze is a silent killer.
Unfortunately, most dogs love to eat or drink whatever is in their reach. Antifreeze is a dangerous “drink” your dog will actually like the taste of because it tastes sweet. It is a fast acting poison that can kill your dog. There are actually non-toxic antifreeze products available these days. Check around. It is worth your time!
Your dog will enjoy a warm and safe time during the cold months. Take the necessary precautions to keep him safe, and surprise your dog with a nice warm bed and coat for his shelter.

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