Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caring for your Dogs in Winter

The snow has finally arrived in North Idaho - and with it some dangers for our dogs.

Getting lost is a concern for dogs now, because apparently it's not so easy to follow their own scent back home if they run off into the snow to explore. So, keep those pups in sight or sound!

Also, snow and ice can build up between their toe pads and cause injury - keep an eye on that!

But a more common danger for city dogs is ice melter. If you take your dog walking on city sidewalks or across city streets, be SURE to wash those paws when you get back home. The de-icer is not only damaging to the skin on their feet, but toxic when they begin licking it off during their grooming routines.

If your dogs live outdoors, remember that they need water just as much in winter as they do during the hottest part of the summer. Don't let those water dishes freeze! Heated water bowls are inexpensive, and good insurance for your dog's health.

They also need someplace snug to get into to get away from the winter winds. Even though many dogs, such as Malamutes, do prefer to bury themselves in snow, your shorter-haired friends need your help to stay warm.

A little extra rations are also a good idea for those outdoor dogs - it takes energy to keep up body heat when the temperatures are freezing.

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