Keep the Chill Off
Your Pet This Winter
Even though they stay bundled up in
their own fur coats, your pets can feel
the chilly effects of winter weather.
During the cold months, it's important
to spend a little extra time helping
your pets stay healthy, says Arden
Moore, a nationally known pet expert and
author of Happy Dog, Happy You
(Storey Publishing, 2008).
Here are a few of her favorite
Big dogs freeze just as badly as
Many large dog breeds are not outdoor
winter dogs. If your large dog has
a short coat like Pit Bulls,
Weimaraners, Pointers etc. do not
leave them outside during cold weather.
- Know your dog's limits.
A dog's cold tolerance depends on
factors including age, size, and
type of fur. If it's 25 degrees, a
healthy adult dog with thick fur
should comfortably be able to walk
outside for up to 20 minutes. At
that temperature, however, dogs in
their senior years shouldn't stay
outside for more than 10 minutes.
And small dogs or those with thin
coats may need to wear a doggy coat
or sweater before heading outdoors
if the temperature is below 40
- Keep an eye on your dog.
If he starts to shiver, it means the
same thing as if you were shivering
- it's time to come inside!
- Protect your dog's feet.
If you use salt on your driveway to
melt ice - or you're walking on
salted streets - smear petroleum
jelly on your dog's feet before you
venture outdoors. This will keep the
salt from causing pain in any
abrasions or irritations she may
have on her feet. Keep a towel handy
near your door to wipe off her feet
before going inside.
- Buy a supportive bed.
Dogs and cats who are older or have
arthritis will appreciate an
orthopedic pet bed, which provides
added support during cold, clammy
months when they may feel more achy.
You can find these beds for about
$50 or less online and in pet-supply