Winter Is Coming? Are your pets Prepared?
As the leaves fall and the temperature drop, we prepare ourselves for the coming cold days of winter. When it comes to the cold, we put away our summer wardrobes and pull out our boots, coats, hats, and scarves to keep our bodies warm. Dogs have a core body temperature of between 101-102 degrees F. Despite this warm body temperature, our furry babies still need protection from the cold.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself for winter with your dog:
1) Avoid Thin Ice: Here in Yonkers and all around New York, we have lots of lakes and ponds that are at the parks we frequent for outside play with our pups. However, as the temperature drops, these ponds begin to freeze over and the ice is not always visible and that thin ice can break and the freezing water will lead to hypothermia. Also, slipping and sliding on the ice is fun, it can lead muscle sprains and other injuries.
2) Protect their paws: We offer a wide variety of different booties and paw covers for dogs feet in store and online. This is because snow and ice can cause serious damage to your dogs nerves and paw pads. Snow can get stuck in between the paws and stick to the paws causing abrasions and pain to your pup. Unprotected paws should not be in the snow for more than 10 minutes or you'll be spending much time and money at the vet.
3) Clean their paws: During the winter snow isn't the only hazard to your pets paws. There's also the Rock Salt that is spread on sidewalks and streets to make them safe for us humans to walk and drive on. Rock salt is made out of Sodium Chloride and Calcium Chloride. While these chemicals are harmless on the ground, when the salt gets stuck to your dogs paws it can reek havoc internally and externally. Externally, the salt can scratch up the paw pads making it painful for your dog to take even one step. If ingested, rock salt will cause diarrhea, dehydration, and if too much is ingested it will can be fatally poisonous to your pet. To avoid these disastrous outcomes, simply rinse your dogs paws off with warm water or wipe them dog with a wet wipe. Be sure to closely inspect their feet to make sure there are no salt particles or snow/ice hiding in between the toes and paw pads.
4) Limit their time outside: As we mentioned before, dogs have a core temperature of about 102 degrees F. However, did you know that dogs can still suffer from conditions such as Frostbite? Ear Flaps, Tail tips, and paws are the most vulnerable to frostbite. In freezing temperatures it is recommended that dogs only be taken outside for no more than 5 minutes, and only if absolutely necessary; with the exception of heavy-coated northern breeds that thrive in such weather. If you notice your dogs skin turning blue, visit your VET ASAP, that is the first sign of frostbite. No matter what type of coat your dog has, the change in temperature can shock them, so as winter gets colder, its a good idea to take your pup on short spurts outside so they can get acclimated.
5) Bundle that Fur Baby UP: We all know that dogs have fur and high body temps, however, their fur thickness and types vary widely., From wire haired terriers to fluffy huskies, all dogs have some sort of coat. However, bringing your pup outside in a blizzard and/or chilling temperatures without a jacket is like you climbing Everest in shorts and a tank top! You don't want that, and neither does your dog! Giving them a little extra warmth, will keep those internal organs functioning properly and protect against frostbite (which sets on quickly). Whether you have a small dog, a delicate/sensitive dog, a short-haired dog, or even a large breed dog (Greyhounds, Great Danes, Pitties, Rotties etc), have an appropriate winter wardrobe to keep them safe. Plus, let's be honest, everyone loves dressing up their dog (even if we won't always admit it!).
6) Age Matters when it comes to the Cold: When our fur babies are just that.....babies, they have a hard time regulating their body temperatures. When our fur babies become advanced in age, the same applies: regulating body temp becomes more difficult for them. This weakened ability to regulate body temperature can lead to extreme reactions to weather changes. Even though playing in the snow with your new puppy is lots of fun, remember that it's better to keep the youngsters and the oldsters indoors as much as possible.
7) Beware! Beware! Beware of Antifreeze: In wintertime cars tend to leave behind drips of this necessary stuff in the streets and it can also drip from AC units onto sidewalks. This substance is EXTREMELY POISONOUS TO ANIMALS. As little as ONE TEASPOON can cause kidney failure. Most antifreeze is green ethylene glycol but it comes in many colors, and usually can be spotted by the shiny residue it leaves on concrete. Watch where your dog is sniffing to avoid ingestion of this toxic substance. Look out for drooling, vomiting, excessive thirst, panting, lethargy, and a drunken appearance. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze contact your vet immediately.
Visit our store for more info or for help selecting the correct products to prepare you for winter! All of our outerwear is 25% off through the winter!