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Old Man Winter and Your Pets

Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head and many people are trying to find the delicate balance between staying warm and keeping heating costs down. It’s easy for people to put on a jacket or bump up the thermostat, but many pets don’t have the same luxury.

If you keep your pet outside, please continually check your pet for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Dog's_paw-frost-bitesimage source 


Frostbite most frequently affects ears, toes, tails, scrotum and areas least covered by fur.

Signs of frostbite include red or swollen areas or skin that is very pale and white.

To treat frostbite, immerse the area in warm water, not hot, for 15-20 minutes and call your veterinarian.


Hypothermia occurs when a pet has been exposed to very cold temperatures and/or winds for an extended period of time.

Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, low body temperature, stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.

To treat hypothermia, the pet’s body temperature must be raised. Surround the pet in hot water bottles and warm towels or immerse in room-temperature water and slowly add warmer water. Try to get the animal to drink warm liquids and, of course, call your veterinarian.

Protecting Short-Haired Dogs From the Cold

A short-haired breed don’t have much natural protection from cold weather, snow, or ice. If you’re just letting your dog out for a quick potty break, most of the time they’ll be fine as is. If your hort-haired K9 will be outside for more than 10 minutes or so at a time when the temperature is around or below freezing, consider a jacket or coat for him.

Keep Your  Dog’s  Feet Healthy

On a previous post named “Winter Dog Paw Care | Doggie Spaw at Home” we talked in detail about the importance to caring for your canine’s paws in winter and show you easy 5 steps to keep your dog’s feet healthy.  Remember salt and chemicals used to melt ice on driveways, roads, and sidewalks can irritate or burn your dog’s feet. They may also ingest the chemicals if they lick their feet after a walk. Wipe your dog’s feet clean after a walk, or consider doggie boots for her feet if she’ll be taking long walks in the winter.

Even if your dog doesn’t walk on treated surfaces, ice or crusty snow may cut or scrape her paws. Check your k9‘s feet thoroughly and use a non-toxic emollient such as Bag Balm or Halo’s Herbal Salve to soften irritated pads or soothe minor scrapes and cuts. Keep the nails short  to minimize the chances of a nail breaking or tearing on a hard patch of ice.

With just these simple tips you can assure your canine companion stays heathy  and happy during the winter!

8 Jan 2013
By Evelyn
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About the Author: Evelyn

Currently owned by two bouncy boxers. Passionate about dogs, social media, weddings, blogging, digital marketing, twitter parties and hot yoga. Find her at where she helps businesses with their online needs.

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