Dear Murphy: Winter is Coming!

WinterPuppy-300x185Dear Murphy,
Some of my doggie friends love the cold weather: it makes them so frisky!  I’m not that fond of the chilly temperatures and icy, slushy streets.  How should I prepare myself for the arctic blast?
Sincerely,
Chilly Dog

Dear Chilly Dog,
I know, right?  Some of us just can’t wait for the heat waves to pass and the winter winds to blast. However, the other half will have to be encouraged to stick one paw out when the flakes fall. Here are some Murphy-Approved tips for your human so you can stay winter happy:

  • Don’t leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes the day colder than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your dog’s body temperature, and limit his or her time outdoors.
  • Adequate shelter is a necessity. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.
  • Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get injured.
  • Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat (check out our doggie shop at www.shop.barkbabybark.com! ) Long-haired dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal and cleaning. If you decide to do the trimming yourself, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate areas of the foot.
  • Feed your dog additional calories if he or she spends lots of time outdoors or is a working doggy. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperatures regulated, so additional calories are necessary.
  • Towel or blow-dry your dogs if they get wet from rain or snow. Don’t forget to clean and dry your dog’s pads as well! This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. Mushers Secret is a great application that can protect your dogs paws outside and will also soften and prevent further cracking.
  • The Salt! Many sidewalks are heavily salted to help the ice and snow melt. This can wreak havoc on your dogs paws because it can burn and cause cracking & chapping. To help prevent exposure to the salt you can use boots during your outings. We recommend Pawz Boots or you can invest in a more permanent pair at Ruff Wear.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in a car without proper precautions. If the car engine is left on, the carbon monoxide will endanger your dog’s life. If the engine is off, the temperature in the car will get too cold.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac and the early Arctic blasts, winter’s coming a little bit earlier than expected.  Be dressed to embrace the temperatures and you’ll always enjoy your outings!

For more information and tips on Winterizing your Dog, check out these sites:

Winter Safety & Comfort for Dogs https://apdt.com/pet-owners/safety/winter/

Cold Weather Pet Safety https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

Cold Weather Tips from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cold-weather-tips

*Special thanks to the American Kennel Club for their cold weather tips!

Bark Bark,
Murphy

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