As we say goodbye to autumn and hesitantly welcome the winter months, it is crucial to read up on how to properly take care of your dog in the winter. Without the proper precautions, you could very easily lose your pet to the extreme cold weather that is common during winter. The problem becomes even worse for pet owners whose dog breeds are not quite suited to surviving in extreme cold weather.
While some states are warm enough to not have to worry about cold weather dangers, in others, the winter weather is a major challenge for pet owners. Bully Sticks Direct is headquartered in Michigan, a state famous for its long and often unpredictable winters!
If you want to prevent cold weather dangers and keep your pet safe this winter, you have come to the right place. The winter safety tips we will discuss in this article can make the difference between life and death for your pet this winter. Read on to find out how to take care of your dogs during the temperature extremes that are common in winter weather. What's more, the same tips can apply to outdoor cats, if you have any!
Freezing Temperatures Are Bad for Your Pet’s Health
Maintaining the right body heat temperature is essential for the survival of any mammals, including your furry best friends. Normally, staying warm wouldn't be an issue for a healthy active dog. However, in the face of chilly rain and snow, you will need to go the extra mile to keep your pets safe.
Try the following advice and safety tips to keep your dog's body temperature just right all through the long and cold months of winter:
1. Limit Outside Playtime
If you are used to playing with your dog outside, having to spend months on end cooped up in the house can be very difficult. However, it’s a necessary precaution to keep your pet safe during times of very cold weather.
We understand that some dog breeds do not handle being kept indoors for long periods and are prone to destructive behavior in such cases. Therefore, if you must take winter walks, keep them short. If you can't stand the cold, odds are that your dog can't for long either.
2. Dogs Can Slip and Fall Too
Not many pet parents stop to consider that even dogs can be at risk of slipping on the ice and hurting themselves. However, their paws do not have a lot of traction on ice. It will be up to you to keep your dog away from the slippery patches when you go outdoors. Keeping them on a short leash is also a good idea to keep them stable and prevent them from running wild and possibly injuring themselves.
3. Wipe Their Paw Pads When They Come In
Rock salt, antifreeze spills, and other ice-melting agents are commonly used on roads and sidewalks during the winter months. However, as necessary as they are for our day-to-day safety, they are not so safe for your pet's paws.
Before your dog comes back inside, wipe them down with a damp towel to prevent irritation of their skin. It is also important to pay attention to other parts of their bodies such as their stomach, muzzle, and tail.
If your pet has ingested antifreeze or any other chemicals for that matter, you should monitor their behavior and rush them to the veterinarian if they appear unwell. The risk of kidney failure and other complications could arise if they have ingested road salt or antifreeze.
4. Beware of Frostbite and Hypothermia
When you expose your dog to winter's dry and cold weather, the chances of frostbite and hypothermia are high. Short-haired dogs are more at risk than other dogs when left outdoors for a long time.
Always check for gray and flaking skin as this is one of the early signs of frostbite. Rapid breathing, sluggishness, and dilated pupils could all point to hypothermia. If you notice any of these symptoms on your pet's feet, skin, or behavior, do not waste any time before rushing to the veterinarian immediately.
5. Keep Them Well Dressed Against the Cold Air
Not all pet owners are fans of dressing up their animals, and yes, being dressed up discomforts dogs that are not used to it. However, if you want your dog to stay warm you may have to make an exception. You do not even have to dress them from head to tail! They already have fur to keep them warm, so all that is required is a little help. A cute sweater and some booties for your dog's feet should be enough to help maintain their body temperatures.
6. Now Is Not the Time for a Close Shave
Sometimes, keeping your dog inside the house is not good enough because of the extreme weather. You may have to take some extra precautions, one of them being allowing your dog's fur coat to grow more than you would have liked. Dogs need their fur as the first line of defense against the cold, so hold off on shaving until warmer weather.
7. Some Extra Calories Will Be Great
Add a bigger portion of pet food to your dog's bowl to help them build up the necessary calories required to keep their body heat high. If your dog is a picky eater, perhaps the simplicity of a product from Bully Sticks Direct can appease their appetite. Bully Sticks Direct’s treats are grain-free, single-ingredient, and all-natural products.
8. Invest in Heated Buckets and Bedding
Your dog needs a warm place to rest, and buying heated bedding for them will go a long way. You should also make sure they have access to unfrozen water for drinking. If the temperature is excessively cold, you might want to consider investing in heated water bowls or buckets to warm up their water before they drink.
9. Consider Your Dog's Age
Older dogs need more warmth than young and active ones. Not only should you make sure they get more calories than usual, but space heaters and dry bedding are also great considerations. Avoid letting your dog suffer from excessive thirst by making sure that your pet's water dish is always full of warm water to drink.
10. Keep Your Dog Entertained With Bully Sticks
Natural odors attract animals, which is why our bully sticks are made from 100% all-natural ingredients. A single bully stick will be enough to keep your dog busy for many hours during those times when taking walks is out of the question. Unlike plastic and cotton toys, when your dog chews on a bully stick, they will stay entertained while getting a few extra calories at the same time.
Visit Bully Sticks Direct Today!
If you do not have a dog to worry about this winter, how about some of your dog-lover friends? An order of all-natural bully sticks from Bully Sticks Direct would certainly make a great holiday gift! BSD is the perfect christmas gift for dog lovers because:
- Support Small Businesses: Bully Sticks Direct is a small, second generation family-owned company based in Michigan USA
- Buy All-Natural: BSD treats are a single-ingredient and all-natural treat option for dogs
- Safe and Healthy: BSD has a catalog of treats that are great for all sizes and ages of dogs
- Refer & Earn: Give your friends a reward and claim your own after they make a purchase!
At Bully Sticks Direct, we have a wide range of healthy dog treats that should be on every pet parent's winter shopping list. Visit our website now and pick a few items from our selection of great products!