Winter is here once again, and it brought with it the freezing temperatures. We recently had a bad snow storm here, and temperatures have been down to the low teens – negative digits. As you can imagine how cold this is for us, just think about how much colder it is on your dogs! They can get frostbite just as easily as humans can.
Be Mindful of Duration Spent Outside
Try to limit how long and how often you dog is outside for when temperatures are dangerously low. Anything under 30 degrees Fahrenheit could potentially be harmful to your dog. Short spans of 1-3 minutes are recommended, 5-10 minute periods could pose a problem for your dogs paw pads. If your dog begins to limp, you should get him/her indoors immediately. Dog’s are strong and often subtle animals when it comes to pain, but if your dog does not want to put pressure on his paws, he/she is definitely feeling dangerous effects of the cold.
Please do not leave your dog outside during the winter! Regardless of whether they have a dog house or not, the harsh conditions will still negatively affect them. Keep your pet safe and keep them indoors.
Keeping your dog’s paw-pads clean and dry during the winter will help prevent any irritation. Hank unfortunately has especially bad irritation to the cold and his paw-pads being exposed to it. They will get red and swollen and itchy! He ends up chewing on his paws as a result.
Watch Out for Salt!
AVOID. Salt melt that may be on the sidewalks or roads, this poses a very large irritation factor to your dog’s paws. While it can’t be avoided 100% in most cases, avoiding what you can will help. Always try and wash your dog’s paws after returning indoors if he/she has been exposed to any salt melt to keep the irritation down.
Get to the Groomer
Keep your dog’s nails trimmed throughout winter. The longer their nails get, the more pressure is pushed back on the paw when they walk. This effect in the winter on snow can contribute to more irritation of the paw-pads. It’s good practice to always keep your dog’s nails trimmed, but even more important in the cold months where snow is expected.