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Best Ways to Keep your Dog Safe in the Winter

Winter is here. The temperature has dropped below freezing and is set to drop even more. You can see your breath. Your toes and fingers get numb. Your nose and ears turn red. Your nose runs. It feels like the frigid air itself is out to get you. Your dog is feeling all of that, too!

All of the precautions you take in the winter to keep warm and safe should be taken for your dog as well. We are happy to offer you some great tips to keep your dog safe during the chilliest season of the year.

  • Keep your dog warm! Some dog breeds, like Huskies and German Shepherds, have a higher tolerance for the cold because of their thicker coats. But like a person wearing a thick jacket, they still need to spend most of the time indoors when the temperature drops. According to the North Shore Animal League of America, when the temperature dips below freezing, you should limit your dog’s outdoor activity to 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind that each dog is an individual. They will let you know when they’re cold. If you see your dog shivering or whining, bring them inside. Dogs, like humans, can get hypothermia, too
  • All mammals burn more calories in the winter months to regulate their body temperature. If your dog is extremely active, or is a puppy, you should feed them a little more than usual in the winter months. This will ensure they maintain their ideal weight. However, if you have an adult dog that is less active in the winter, feed them a little less. Just make sure to keep feeding them healthy food. We recommend WellyChef Homemade Dog Food Done Right Base Mix.
  • Doggie jackets and boots aren’t just fashionable, they are also very important. A number of dogs, both big and small, have low body fat, especially lean dogs. That includes Greyhounds and Chihuahuas, so giving them an extra layer is incredibly helpful during the winter. Also, dogs like Shih Tzu’s and mixed Poodles, have hair instead of fur, so that adorable looking jacket works wonders for them, too. As for the boots, they are great for dogs. They protect foot pads from ice and anything sharp that may be hiding in the snow. They can also protect your dog from the chemicals found in many ice melts. Just make sure the boots are waterproof!
  • Keeping your dog on a leash during the winter is very important. The snow can be disorienting, so letting your dog run without a leash could lead to problems. The cold also affects their otherwise sharp senses. Finally, a dog off a leash might dash onto a frozen lake where the ice isn’t as thick as it may seem.

Those are just a few tips we have for you. We hope they help keep you and your dog happy during the winter. And remember, just like you used to love playing in the snow as a kid, your dog will probably love it, too. Just not all day.

If you have any other winter safety tips for dogs that you’d like to share, leave a comment below!

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