Monday, January 6, 2014

4 Cold Weather Safety Tips

It’s Farm Show week, and of course, that means Farm Show weather. If you’re from Central PA, you know exactly what we’re talking about—snowy, icy, cold weather. A polar vortex is coming through, and tonight and tomorrow, temperatures are plunging, hitting a low of 3 degrees Fahrenheit tonight and only getting up to about 12 degrees tomorrow. Stay inside if you can. That goes for your dogs, too!

Here are four safety tips for cold weather.

Limit Your Dog’s Time Outdoors
Just because dogs have fur doesn’t mean they can tolerate cold weather better than people. They can still be affected by the cold, and their paws can get frostbitten. Limit your dog’s time outside. Puppies have a much lower tolerance for cold weather than older dogs do, so try to keep them indoors as much as possible.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Ice melters, antifreeze, and other chemicals can be toxic to dogs. Try to avoid contact with rock salt and don’t let your dog lick antifreeze. If you’re outside and your dog suddenly kicks out a leg or acts like they don’t want to put their paws back down, move off the side walk or move into another area of the grass quickly. There may be chemicals on the ground that are burning your dog’s paw pads.

When you come inside, wipe your dog’s paws with a damp towel so they don’t ingest any chemicals that may have gotten on their paws. Examine your dog’s pads for cracking or irritation.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car
This one should speak for itself. In cold temperatures, don’t leave your dog unattended in the car. Your car can turn into a freezer quickly.

Groom Your Dog
A well-groomed dog can stay insulated in cold weather. If you give your dog a bath, make sure that they’re completely dry before letting them go outside. A wet dog can easily get chilled. If your dog gets wet while they’re outside, rub them down with a dry towel when they come back inside. (Many of our dogs love being rubbed down with a towel!)

If your dog has long fur, make sure you check it for ice build-up, especially in between their pads.

Stay safe and warm! Tomorrow we’ll post some ideas for helping your dog get some exercise while staying indoors.

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