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Winter Health Hazards

When the weather outside is frightful, and you are experiencing below normal temperatures, as most us of have already experienced this year, please bring your pets inside.  Wolves may be able to handle sub-zero temperatures but our furry friends cannot.  Pets are accustomed to central heating.

To help combat the winter health hazards here are a few winter tips:

Are you freezing even wearing a coat?

If you’re cold even in your coat, more than likely your pet is cold.  Shorten your walks in unusually cold weather.  Keep a towel at the door to wipe off snow and ice on your pets paws and coat.

Eating Snow?

Did you know that eating snow can lower a dog’s body temperature?  Eating snow could lead to hypothermia.  During long walks or hikes take some Luke-warm water with you for the dog to drink.  This will help to avoid your dog eating snow when they are thirsty.

Ice-Melting Salt?

Try looking for “paw-safe” salt for melting ice and snow.  The regular kind can sting chapped paws.  Another option to protect your dog’s feet would be to strap-on boots or use a foot wax.  A good boot for your dog is “Muttluks”, and a good foot wax is “Musher’s Secret”.

Boots and Belted CoatBoots might pull off in deep snow.  They are better used on plowed roads and sidewalks.  The wax is rubbed on the dog’s pads and between the toes before going outside.  Some dog owners use petroleum jelly.  Although, it does not stay on as well as wax, it’s a little less expensive.  Just remember anything you rub on your dog’s pads should be safe enough if eaten or licked off.

After a good walk it is wise to rinse your dog’s paws with warm water and dry as soon as you get into the house.  This will help keep your dog from licking road salt off their feet.  Do you like the Belted Coat and Boots?  You can find them here: Muttluks.com

 

Itchy, Flaky Skin?

Many dogs have dry itchy, flaky skin in the winter.  Some dogs are allergic to mold spores in heating systems or dust mites.  To combat an itchy, flaky dog is to bathe them regularly during the winter months.  It’s fine to bathe a dog indoors as long as you keep them warm until they are completely dry.

Please remember to monitor the weather and your pets during the cold or extreme weather.  The Lilburn Georgia area has already had unusually cold weather so far this year, as well as most of the east coast.

Hound Health Handbook, by Betsy Breviz, D.V.M.

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