Everyone wants the best for their pets – they’re part of the family! As temperatures drop, keep these steps from the ASPCA in mind so Fido stays safe and warm all winter long.

 

Cover the Feet

Taking walks are a must for dogs, even when there’s snow on the ground. Massage paw protectants, such as petroleum jelly, on your pet’s feet to protect them from chemicals and salt during walks.

 

Cut Back on Washes

Baths in the winter can make a pet’s skin dry and flaky. Keep washing to a minimum during winter months and ask your vet to recommend moisturizing shampoos or rinses to preserve those essential oils.

 

Feed Them More

Staying warm when temperatures are close to freezing is a tough job. Feeding your pets a little more will give them more energy to brave the cold. Don’t forget to include plenty of water to keep them well hydrated.

 

Don’t Shave Too Much

Dogs need their fur and hair to stay warm, so shaving to the skin during winter weather is a definite no. For long-haired dogs, trims are necessary to avoid clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals (don’t forget the hair between the toes). Short-haired dogs should dress in a coat or sweater with a high collar to stay warm. Make sure the outfit covers from the base of the tail to the belly.

 

Stay Dry

Entering a dry heat after being in the cold can cause dogs to develop dry, itchy skin, so keep your home humidified. Remember to towel dry pets when they come back inside, and check your dog’s feet for snowballs between the foot pads.

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