How to: Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter

With much of the United States experiencing record-setting cold temperatures (we’re dealing with -40 wind chill) I thought I would share some tips for protecting your dog from snow, ice and wind.

1. Buy your dog a jacket. Winter coats are especially important for puppies, small breeds, shorthaired and senior dogs. Look for one with a wide strap that keeps their vulnerable belly warm. Wrap a blanket around larger dogs.

2. Musher’s Secret protects paws. This is a great product for all seasons, but especially winter it stops the build up of snow and ice balls on your dog’s paws. A sled dog musher recommended this to me for Jack and I swear by it.

3. Use a harness and not a collar. Using a secure front-clip harness wil prevent pulling and injuring the dog in the cold.

4. Going outside, put your dog on a leash. If going for a walk use a jogger’s leash, which stays hooked to you if you fall or lose your grip your pet stays safe with you and doesn’t run. The ASPCA warns that dogs’ sense of smell is diminished by snow and ice and says that more dogs are lost in winter than any other season.

5. Wipe your feet. De-icers, salt and sand all contain irritants that can harm dog’s skin or make them ill if they lick it off.

6. Don’t forget to keep warm. Always make sure you dry your dog off and remove any ice ball build up he may have. I have a heating blanket I always wrap Jack in when we come in from outside to instantly warm him up.

7. Anti-Freeze kills: Avoid leaving your dog in a garage and watch for puddles of accumulated anti-freeze. Dogs are attracted to the sweet smell, but it’s highly toxic.

8. Indoor Exercise: agility course, running up and down steps, game of tug, game of fetch or food puzzles are great alternatives to walks outside.

9. Signs your dog is cold. Pulling up feet one at a time while outside is a sign their footpads are freezing.

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