If you need to do want to bundle up, choose to cut walks and outdoor playtime short. Keep in mind that most dogs still need exercise even if it's too cold out. Trying some recommended indoor games will keep dogs’ bodies and minds active!
“Dogs can eat snow – it’s just frozen water!”
While ice in the freezer is fine like a summertime cool-down treat, winter snow is not nearly as pure or healthy for ingestion. Snow hides harmful salts and chemical solutions that could make your dog sick.
A nice blanket of snow also makes perfect cover for old food, trash, and animal waste that your pet can unearth. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog and what he’s engaging in outside, regardless of weather.
“You don’t need to clean up after your dog during the cold months.”
Some pet owners pass the mantra, “from sight, from mind,” when it comes to obtaining after their dog on wintry walks. While snow may hide your dog’s mess, it is still there and could be a problem for other people out experiencing the snow!
Biodegradation decelerates in the winter months, so waste that is not scooped will stay until the spring. Until then, bacteria are leaching in to the groundwater in your yard with each snowfall and thaw. Instead of potentially spreading infection for months in the future, cleaning up after your pet (even in the snow) is always the better option.
“Dogs don’t get ticks and flicks in winter.”
It is true that parasites are far more common when climate is warm outside, nevertheless the idea that they're ‘dead’ or ‘hibernating’ in the winter is false. Fleas and ticks look for warmth in the cold – including inside your home as well as in your dog’s fur! Keeping pets on preventative medication all year long could keep refuge-seeking parasites away.
“Dogs’ paw pads protect them in the ice and cold.”
Wrong! While paw pads will have the ability to build up calluses, the areas between their toes are extremely sensitive. Toe cracks are great hiding places for chunks of ice, salt, and debris from under the snow.
Fur round the feet and legs also accumulates snowballs that should not be licked off. Snowballs around the chest and legs of shorter dogs should be gently melted and dried after outdoor walks. In case your dog licks the surplus snow, she could ingest antifreeze, salt solutions, and chemicals accustomed to keep your sidewalks clear and be ill.
“Dog booties and jackets are only a fashion statement.”
Booties and jackets for dogs can be useful as well as adorable. Even though you think your pet has ‘tough’ paws, booties can protect dogs of any size from sharp hidden debris in addition to reduce the chance of absorbing harmful substances into the fur on their own feet.
Petite, short-haired, senior, and young dogs may all need an extra layer of insulation when adventuring during the cold months. Sweaters and jackets will keep them warm from head to tail!
“It’s okay to depart your dog in the car when it’s not summer.”
Leaving your dog in a car is unsafe whenever of the year! Even from inside the car, dogs can are afflicted by extreme outdoor temperatures. Your car acts almost as a refrigerator during the winter months when parked for some time. Leaving your vehicle engine on is not the best idea either – carbon monoxide inhalation poses a danger whenever your vehicle is left idling.
“Whenever a dog’s nose is dry, this means he’s sick!”
This tip continues to be frequently handed down, it can often be thought of as a fact. It’s not! A dry nose doesn’t suggest a sick dog. Warm, dry noses could be a sign that your dog was going for a nap and simply not licking his nose. In some dogs, it might also be a sign of aging.
To be clear, a dry nose does sometimes mean that your dog is not feeling his best. Dehydration or exposure to windy, cold temperature can dry out snouts. If you have concerns about your dog’s consistently dry nose, it is always best to call the vet.
“Putting canine beds near heaters will keep pups cozy.”
As a responsible pet owner, you need to keep the animals warm and comfortable through the winter. Heating elements pose a menace to sleeping dogs, however, since your HVAC system is working overtime to keep temperatures. When they are hotter than usual, heating vents could burn a napping pup.
Pet beds or blankets curled up near heat sources also pose a fire risk. Keep your pets’ beds and rest areas away from fireplaces and space heaters, in addition to away from drafty windows or entrances, to ensure that they're comfortable and safe until springtime.
Now that you are up-to-date in your winter pet myths, share these misconceptions with your friends to change the thought of winter pet health needs!