We at Timbers are pet owners and very much love our fur family (the gecko too). So, don’t be surprised when you see the occasional blog post on property maintenance, seasons, and pets too, like this one on pets in the Winter!
Winter takes a toll on everyone, and although your dog may enjoy the snow and you may enjoy watching him/her leaping through the heaps of fluffy white, it’s always best to remember that even Huskies and Samoyeds, although better suited for the season, need your help and intervention to ensure a healthy and happy Winter.
Fresh fluffy snow is lovely but it may cause your dog to get large ice balls between their pads causing discomfort and limping. Be sure to remove the snow from there frequently and before it turns to ice between their toes. Long hair dogs need to have the hair between their pads clipped short which will help with ice ball formation. Although some dogs have trouble adjusting to them and some completely won’t tolerate them, doggie booties offer the best protection.
Salt and Ice Melting Products
Ask any Snow Removal Technician on the side effects of salt and most ice melting product! Dry, chapped, sore and course skin; The stuff will eat through work gloves! Likewise for dogs resulting in painful paws which will encourage your dog to lick his/her paws, and ingest the product potentially causing gastrointestinal irritation or worse. If your dog simply refuses to wear the booties, be sure to wash off your dogs paws after every walk with a warm wet cloth. I also recommend products like Mushers Secret Paw Protectors Wax or Paw Wax etc., any type of wax based cream for dog paws to retain the moisture in the pads and create a non-intrusive barrier between the bare skin and toxic ground.
It may seem ridiculous but a thirsty or curious dog will lap up antifreeze and even just a few licks can be fatal. Please clean up any spills and make sure the containers are away from reach.
Frozen Lakes and Ponds and ICE in general
Animals don’t understand when ice is thin. Our dog doesn’t even realize what a pond or lake is until he falls into it. But with thin ice, it is very difficult for dogs to climb out making hypothermia and/or drowning a very real threat. People often find it quite funny to see a dog slipping and sliding around on ice. Granted, it does look cute. However, what is not cute is the potential risk of cruciate tears (knee ligament tears or sprains). The mindful thing to do would be to not allow your dog on frozen lakes or ponds, and even on icy streets during a walk, please be careful. Remember, a dogs anatomy is very different from our own; bones, joints, muscles, tissues and ligaments do not function in the same way as ours. They may have more speed and strength at times but they are not more limber.
Cold and damp weather makes arthritis far worse. Be gentle with you dog and try to avoid icy paths. Soft heating blankets are recommended after a walk.
Outdoor Pets (difficult topic for me)
Although indoor accommodations are best during the winter, if for some reason that is not possible, make sure that the outdoor dog house you set up is in an area well protected from wind, rain and snow and is VERY well insulated with the likes of straw and blankets, anything to help keep in body heat.
Bored or stressed animals are prone to chewing so do not use blankets or materials that can be ingested. Also keep in mind irritations, standard small animal bedding like Cedar can be irritating to a dogs..
Please do not use a heat lamp, space heater, or other device not approved for use with animals! Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house. Dogs are not able to get enough water by simply licking ice or eating snow, you MUST be sure that fresh water is available at all times! You can purchase heated dishes so the water stays cold, but doesn’t freeze.
Reminder from Timbers
Don’t be stuck without help in a blizzard contact us for winter snow removal!