We’re outside, or just letting them out back

 We’re right at the start of the winter season, so what
better time to start learning how to protect your dog and keep them safe in the
cold. Whether you’re taking them for a walk, playing outside, or just letting
them out back to do their thing, your dog needs special care once the freezing
temperatures and snow come. Here’s some things to keep in mind while we wait
for spring.

Equip Them with The Proper
Winter Wear: When going outside with your dog, consider the winter clothing
they may need. Pets with long, thick coats may not require a jacket, but short
haired types could appreciate one to help stay warm, as their fur isn’t
designed for insulation. A dog jacket should go from collar to tail, and cover
the belly as well.

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Another piece of winter equipment for your dog is boots.
Some dogs adapt to wearing them much better than others, and some never get
used to the idea. The purpose of the boot is to protect their paws from snow,
ice, and other environmental hazards. A buildup of snow and ice can cause your dog
to limp and become uncomfortable on your walk, and salt and de-icing chemicals
can irritate and burn their paws. Most de-icing products, unless specifically
marked as pet friendly, are also hazardous or toxic to animals, so be sure to
clean off your dog’s paws when coming back inside. Boots are also beneficial for
keeping the slush and salt mess outside and not on your floors.

Clean, Dry, and
Moisturized: Keeping your dog well bathed during the winter is as important
as in the summer. A clean, well taken care of coat provides much better heat
retention and insulation than an unkempt and dirty one. Make sure that after a
bath, your dog is completely dry before going outside so they stay warm.

Just like the cold and dry weather affects our skin, it can cause
flaking and dryness for your dog as well. This can include cracks in the paw
pads from exposure to the harsh conditions. You may want to consider adding a
supplement to their food if you notice anything out of the ordinary to help
maintain the health of their skin or coat. If you discover any particular
dryness or cracking on extremities such as the ears, tail or paws, coconut oil
can be safely applied as necessary.

Keep Their
Environment Safe: Wherever your dog is playing, you want to make sure that
they are safe. At home, this can include watching for any spills on the
driveway or in the garage, particularly of antifreeze. Antifreeze has a sweet
taste to animals, and they often try to drink it. Just a small amount can be
fatal, so be sure to keep your dog away from areas they can be exposed to it.
In outdoor areas, keep them on a leash, or close to you. They can easily run into
an unsafe area, including snow-covered rivers or ponds that may not be completely
frozen.

Make Your Yard
Comfortable: You likely put your dog outside in the yard more often than
you bring them for a walk. Your yard should be a safe place for them to play
and take care of business. You can help by shoveling out a path and an area of
the yard to assist them with getting through the snow. Avoid piling snow
against fences, as it can be tempting for your dog to climb up and over. If at
all possible, clean off your roof as snow and ice gathers, as it can fall off on
a sunny day or if the temperature rises, potentially injuring your dog.

Bring Them Inside: A
good rule to follow is if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s probably
too cold for your dog as well. Take breaks when you’re outside with them to get
warm and rehydrated, and when the time comes that you’re ready to return indoors,
it’s likely your dog will be too.

Home Training

With the cold weather only beginning and likely to get worse,
there’s no better time to schedule an In-Home
Consultation. Available for scheduling any day between 9 A.M. and 7 P.M.,
these sessions help to determine what training your dog needs by evaluating
them in their natural habitat as opposed to taking them to a new environment
where they may not behave the same way. Providing an opportunity to discuss
challenges you’re facing with your dog and ask any questions you may have, a
consultation session is an excellent way to get started on the path to a better
behaved pet.

To schedule a consultation, or to learn more about what
other training services we offer, call the professionals from Alpha Paws at 1-877-868-5248
(PAWS) today.

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