Friday, January 16, 2009

A few more wintertime tips

Hello everybody. Sorry I haven't done a good job getting into the habit of blogging yet, I'll try and do better. I wanted to take a moment and jot down a few more tips for keeping your dog happy in the wintertime. Last time I wrote about wintertime I talked a little more about keeping your dog well exercised and happy through the cold months. I just wanted to remind everyone that it is also very important to keep some health issues in mind. When speaking to a local veterinarian I was given a few pointers that I'd like to share.
First off when playing outside with your dog in below freezing temperatures you want to keep an eye on their paws. Our dogs will usually tell us when their paws are bothering them so if they look like they are starting to dance around funny, lift their paws a lot, or even look almost like they are limping then it is a sure sign to get inside ASAP. Some dogs will not give us any signal though so you may have to pay close attention on your own. Many pet stores offer booties for your dogs paws and I definitely recommend them if your dog seems to be especially sensitive. The other paw consideration to keep in mind is very important for those of you who walk your dogs on streets or sidewalks. The salts and chemicals used to de-ice our walkways can be very damaging to our dogs paw pads if not cleaned properly. Be sure to keep an old towel handy after every walk so that you can wipe your dogs feet thoroughly.
If the ground isn't an issue and your sure your dogs feet are fine than feel free to get in as much playtime as possible. The veterinarian told me that your dogs body temperature is usually fine as long as the ears still feel warm. If the ears start feeling a bit chilly than its time to head inside.
Another helpful tip that I'm sure your dog will appreciate is to shovel a little pathway for them along their favorite potty spot in the yard. I've noticed several dogs lately which do not like to venture off into the deep snow so they have started using sidewalks and driveways to relieve themselves. This can obviously be a pretty disgusting burden on you later on.
Well good luck in keeping your dog happy, healthy, and well balanced this winter. As always if you have any questions or needs than feel free to get in touch with us.