Pets Are Important Too

4 Tips For Preparing Your Dog For Winter Weather

by Aurore Fontai

When it comes to colder weather, there are several things that threaten the well-being of your furry, four-legged friend. Therefore, you need to properly prepare him or her for the upcoming winter weather. After all, you never know what the weather will do, so you always need to be fully prepared since frigid temperatures can lead to dangerous health conditions, such as dehydration, frostbite, and hypothermia, if you aren't careful. Here are four tips for preparing your canine for inclement weather:

Tip #1: Prepare Your Dog's Feet Prior to Going Out.

You never want to take your dog outside with exposed feet, as those frozen walkways can be very uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous for your canine. This is particularly true if the roads or walkways have been recently treated with rock salt or any other type of de-icing product. To prepare your canine's feet, you can rub petroleum jelly on the bottom of their paws, or you can purchase specially-made pet booties – both of which will reduce the amount of contact your pet's paws will have with the frozen walkways, cold snow, and harmful de-icing agents.

Tip #2: Get Your Dog a Jacket or Sweater.

While you may not be one of those people that like to strut your dog around in clothing, a dog jacket or sweater may be particularly helpful during the winter. This is especially true if your dog has a shorter, thinner coat that won't keep them very warm while outside. You will want to buy the clothing ahead of time and let your dog wear it around the house so that he or she can get used to it. It is often a bit uncomfortable at first when the dog isn't used to wearing it.

Tip #3: Keep Giving Flea Medication.

Many pet owners will stop providing their dog with flea medication once the weather begins cooling off, assuming that the fleas are gone. However, fleas don't simply disappear during the winter. Instead, they just find a warm host and feed when necessary. So do not stop giving your canine his or her flea medication, as there is a good chance that he or she still has some fleas and/or is vulnerable to them.

Tip #4: Visit the Veterinarian for a Checkup.

Prior to the weather getting too cold, it is important to take your dog in for a veterinary checkup. You want to ensure that your dog is healthy and ready to go for the winter season. Cold weather tends to bring a bit of discomfort for animals that have certain ailments, such as arthritis. A checkup will determine whether your animal has any of these conditions and will allow you to get refills on their prescriptions for the upcoming season.

For more information and tips to ensure you and your dog are prepared for the upcoming winter season, contact your local veterinarian clinic, such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc.