Winter Weather Dog Safety

The first snow has fallen in Michigan and the wind is howling as I write this. The cold weather brings to mind all the things to do for our dogs to make winter a season they can enjoy and endure. For most of us to make it through a Michigan winter whiskey is a must...but our fur children cannot have that so here are a few tips:

1. Make sure your dog lives in a heated house. No one likes being cold.

2. If you have a small, medium, or even a large dog have a sweater that fits over their walking harness. Unless you own a husky which loves the winter weather.

3. Be sure to remove any salt from their paws after a walk around the block. Salt will irritate the pads. If you do a lot of long distance walking consider dog boots to protect the paws from salt and freezing cold temperatures.

4. If the pads are dry from the cold weather you can apply a paw salve. Check back soon for an easy natural paw salve recipe.

5. Always have fresh water available. Your dog may not drink as much in the winter as the summer. If you feed wet dog food, raw, or make your own most have water in them. If you think your dog is not drinking enough you can do the pinch test of the skin between the shoulders. Skin that is hydrated will spring back fast. If the skin slowly returns then you need to add water to the food or salt to make your dog drink. Another test is to look at the dog's gums. They should be moist and pink. If they are gray or blue or dry then your dog is dehydrated and needs water immediately.

6. Toys are great ways to play and exercise your dogs indoors when the weather does not allow you to play outside.

7. Cuddle time on the couch. There was a recent study done that claimed most dogs would prefer cuddling over a treat. I think my boys would pick a treat as they cuddle.

Share what you do to prepare for winter and colder weather with your dog. Be sure to share this! Stay warm and enjoy the extra cuddle time with your dogs.