Here are a few the common myths about dogs and the cold winter weather. The misconceptions and the facts you need to be aware of as temperatures drop.
Salt and dog’s paws
Dogs’ paws do get burned by the salt or chemicals used to melt snow off the ground. There are several products used to melt snow and ice, some of which damage even the concrete, leaving it pitted.
Applying Vaseline to the paws is a safe (albeit sticky) measure. There are several other pet safe products available in the market as well. Rinsing your dog’s paws after a walk or using baby wipes is also a safe and effective means of protecting your dog’s feet.
Dog boots are a thing
Dog boots help protect a dog’s feet from rough, cold and hot or chemically treated surfaces. There are boots in a variety of styles and quality designed for dogs.
Such boots should not be left on for an extended period, and the inside should be always kept clean and dry. It’s necessary for some trial and error to find the right fit. Some might require frequent adjustment to avoid slipping.
Dogs have fur, no need for coats
Some dogs, especially breeds with short hair, can benefit from extra protection during cold weather. Ensure that the coat covers the body adequately and does not hinder movement. Blankets too can be added for an additional layer of insulation during extreme cold.
Some dogs like winter
Some (thick coated) dog breeds seem to relish the cold weather. It is important to observe your dogs actions when left outside in the cold. Signs such as shivering or wanting to get back indoors indicate that your dog does not appreciate the cold weather.
Too cold to exercise outdoors?
When it’s too cold to go outside, it’s an excellent opportunity to work in the comfort of your own home. You can include exercises that can range from treadmill walks to running up and down the stairs and mini obstacle courses with household objects such as boxes.
Dry eyes are not good for dogs
In winter the air is much dryer and some breeds are predisposed to dry eye that is common in dogs. Signs include mucoid discharge, conjunctivitis, and/or irritated, painful eyes. Without proper treatment, the cornea (surface of the eye) can become scarred affecting vision.
Solutions such as artificial tears can be used to help moisten the eyes. However some conditions turn serious quickly, so be sure to consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
Watch out for the Ear infection
Ear infections can occur any time round the year and may be quite advanced before you even notice it. Regular use of an ear wash can be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of ear infections in most cases. More severe ear infections might require prescription medications.
Keep the above in mind, and if your dog seems too uncomfortable, have it checked out by your veterinarian at the earliest.
Related Post: 10 Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm in Winter