With the frigid temperature I thought it would be good time for some cold weather reminders.
Bring your all of pets inside. While many dogs can be safe in outside temperatures with proper shelter, puppies, smaller dogs and older dogs should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees. Escort your dog outside for toileting and use a leash if the yard has ice or snow.
Watch for signs of frostbite and injury. Dogs’ ears, paws and tails are especially susceptible to frostbite. If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian. Always wipe your dog’s feet after a walk in the snow to remove ice balls and salt deposits from the road.
Keep an eye out for hypothermia. If you notice shivering, lethargy, low heart rate and unresponsiveness, bring your dog into a warm area, place a light blanket over him, and call your veterinarian.
Keep your dog on a leash. Dogs rely heavily on a strong sense of smell to figure out where they are and can easily get lost during winter storms. Snow covering the ground will make their surroundings less familiar. Keeping your dog on a leash at all times – especially during winter storms – can help stop your dog from becoming lost. Also talk to your veterinarian about micro-chipping your dog, just in case.
Don’t leave your dog inside of a parked car. Most people know this rule for the summer. A parked car can quickly amplify the effects of extreme weather. During the winter it can act as an icebox and trap cold air inside.
Following these tips will keep your four legged family members safe!
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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