Winter is a time of year to wrap up and stay as warm as possible. We all have our favorite winter gear, including gloves, parkas, and scarves. But the chill still finds a way to cut to the bone. This is especially true for our canine companions, as well.
While it may seem cute to dress up your dog up in a fur coat, the best solution to the winter blues is to keep your pet inside. Dogs are not made to weather the temperatures of the winter season just because they have fur. Some dogs may be able to tolerate the chill, but many of them will not.
Did you know that you are the best possible barometer for deciding whether they are cold or not? In general, humans have less tolerance for the cold than their pets. If you are outside with your pets and starting to feel the effects of the cold, this is usually a sign that you and your furry friend need to head indoors.
Longer nosed dog breeds are able to survive for longer periods outdoors, but this does not mean that you should push your pet to their limit. A mouth breathing dog, on the other hand, has a very low tolerance for the cold. Since the air is taken in through the mouth, it hits the lungs directly and can cause sharp pain.
Prolonged exposure to the cold also places your pets at risk for developing frostbite in their extremities. Long eared pets are especially vulnerable to frostbite. The feet, the tips of the noses and the testicles are all areas of the body that need to be kept warm as much as possible.
If you see an animal who has been exposed to the elements, do your best to find out if they are able to consistently access adequate shelter. When you have determined that the animal does not have any protection, call animal control as soon as possible. Animals can learn to survive in the cold, but this is not a decision for a human to make.
Sure, sled pulling dogs are able to withstand extremely cold temperatures. However, this does not mean that your pet has the same level of endurance. The best place for your pet to be during the winter is indoors, so be sure to share this story with the pet owners among your friends and family.