Well, as the infamous groundhog predicted, we have 6 more weeks of this cold bitter winter. As I type this, Westchester County NY has about 8 inches coming down. Bella is ecstatic about the snow, but me, not so much. Here are some tips to keep your corgi, and/or other dogs, safe in this snowy weather. (Some of these depend on the temperature of your area and how cold it gets.)
General Concerns in Cold Weather
- Don't leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than the temperature really is. Make sure to watch your dog for any possible signs of decline in body temp, and limit their time outdoors.
- Make sure to provide a shelter whenever your dog is outside, so they have an easy way to escape snow, wind, etc. Indoor tiles and uncarpeted areas can get very cold, so make sure to put down blankets and towels in these areas especially if you know your dog likes to lie down there.
- Remember to be careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen rivers, lakes or ponds. They could slip or jump onto the ice and get seriously injured.
- Feed your dog additional calories if they work as a (ex. herding dog) outside and are constantly outdoors. It takes extra energy in the winter to keep body temp regulated, so additional calories are necessary.
- Towel or blow-dry your dog's fur when it gets wet from snow/cold rain. It is important to dry and clean your dog's paws, too, which helps avoid tiny cuts or cracked pads. Also, to avoid them from tracking in salt from the streets or sidewalks. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads to avoid further cracking. In the winter, we use a certain brand for Bella's paws called "Musher's Secret" which you can purchase here. I personally recommend this paw wax, and it's more comfortable and safe for your dog than booties (which I despise :/).
Health Concerns in Cold Weather
- Just like people, dogs are susceptible to illness in cold weather. Take them to your vet if you see them exhibiting any suspicious symptoms.
- Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roads, is highly poisonous. Although this smells and tastes great to your dog, it is fatal when consumed.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your dog at all times. Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as they are in the summer. Just because snow is water, doesn't mean it is the same as drinking water.
- Frostbite is anyones winter hazard, including your dog. To prevent frostbite on ears, tail and paws, make sure your dog isn't outside for too long.
- Rock salt, used to melt ice, can easily irritate your dogs footpads. Like I said before, make sure to clean your dogs pads after a walk.
- Be very careful of supplemental heat sources. Fireplaces or portable heaters can severely burn your dog. Make sure your fireplace(s) have screens over them and portable heaters are out of reach.
Thank you for reading! We can all agree that our dog's safety is a top priority. Keep in mind the importance of everyday knowledge on keeping them safe in cold weather!