• Five Tips for Safe, Happy, Healthy Dogs!

    Good evening all,

    It’s that time of year again, cold weather, snowy paws, lots of friends and family. Growing up December was always an enjoyable month from the first snowfall and making snow forts to school vacations and Gingerbread Houses. With now being a young adult, it is becoming real of all of the struggles with bills and working countless hours. You end up missing the anticipation of the holidays. There is one person who reminded me of what the holidays are supposed to be about and that is my dog.

    If there is one thing that I have learned, it is dogs that are the ones who enjoy life the most. They live carelessly, unaware of what their fate will be one day. Though they don’t care, they continue doing the things they love and spending time with their family. Someone once told me, “Your dog is only one part of your world, but to your dog, you are their whole world.” They know nothing other than making you happy. Dogs are generous, loyal, smart when helped understand, they are the perfect companion. That is why they are Man’s Best Friend. So how can we give back to them and assure our pets stay healthy and happy during this winter season? Here are five tips to get you through this Winter Wonderland.

    Tip Number #1:

    Grooming

    • Paw care in the winter time is more important than ever, trimming the hair between the toes can prevent snow and ice from balling up. Booties are good to prevent this as well.
    • If your dog won’t wear booties, or you don’t want them to always wash your dog’s paws off thoroughly. This will remove any chemicals such as salt that can be on the roads that will hurt your dog’s paws.
    • Don’t forget to buy your pet safe salt for your property so everyone is safe!
    • With the cold weather, it is always good to moisturize and wax your dogs paw pads to keep them from cracking and breaking. You can find these products at any pet store or make from DIY recipes found online.
    • Since there will be a lack of digging holes and using their claws, trim nails more often to keep them short.
    • When bathing, always test the water first. Bathe your dog in warm water, not hot. Make sure to dry thoroughly, going outside with wet fur could cause pneumonia.
    • Avoid shaving long haired dogs in the winter months, the longer hair will provide more warmth.

    Tip Number #2:

    Dogs can get Frostbite and Hypothermia too

    • Getting lost and running off are too big problems in the winter time. Snow can cover scents and impair a dog’s ability to navigate.
    • As much as I hate it myself, unnecessary car rides should be limited. Never leave a dog in an unattended car, it can act as a refrigerator and trap the cold in.
    • Sweaters, booties, and coats are great accessories for extra warmth.
    • Time to shorten walks and listen to your dog. If your dog is shivering and trying to turn back it is probably because it is too cold for them.
    • Avoid hazards like frozen ponds, dogs can fall through the thin ice.

    Tip Number #3:

    Exercise and Diet

    • Play fun games like tug a war and hide and seek when the weather is poor.
    • Buy your pups new toys when old toys are worn, to keep chewers busy.
    • Make sure your pets always have plenty of food and water in their dishes, dehydration and weakness are caused by the cold temperatures.
    • During feeding time, limit portions based off of how active your dog has been to avoid weight gain.

    Tip Number #4:

    Shelter

    • Short hair dogs need shelter once the temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bring your pets indoors.
    • Repair outdoor dog houses when needed, properly insulate, and provide warm bedding.
    • Electric heaters are not a good idea around pets. If too close your pet could get burnt, they could chew the cords, or knock it over and cause a fire. A heated bed is a much safer option.
    • Never leave a dog unattended around a fireplace.

    Tip Number #5:

    Vet Visits-

    • Holidays are full of fun things that dogs can not have, candies, macadamia nuts, walnuts, onion, garlic, and chocolates can be toxic to dogs.
    • Popular plants such as mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly can cause irritation, diarrhea, vomiting and heart problems. Contact your vet if your pet has consumed any of these.
    • Beware of chemicals such as antifreeze and ice dissolving salts. Store on tops shelves and clean up spills as soon as possible.
    • Cold weather can be tough on older dogs who are developing arthritis, as your vet for supplements that can prolong healthy joints and bones.
    • Keep smaller decorations away out of your dogs reach, they can be a choking hazard and tinsel can cause an intestinal obstruction.
    • Remember dogs can get the flu just as easily as humans can, if your pup is acting out of sorts it’s better to be safe then sorry!

    I hope you guys enjoyed these winter tips to keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy. Check out the adoptable dogs Underhound has right now and give a dog the gift of a furever home this holiday season.

    Until next time,

    Your fellow dog lover,

    -Shelby