With most of the country covered in snow, we wanted to give you some tips and tricks on how to keep your pup safe and happy this winter. Generally, dogs love playing in the snow - it always makes me laugh when my dog starts bunny-hopping around in it. But just like people, they are susceptible to hypothermia and frosbite.
For people, it's easy to bundle up with jackets and boots. For dogs, it's not as easy. While some dogs have fur made for the snow, the majority of dogs have fur coats that just don't cut it. Hypothermia can set in quickly and can be fatal if not addressed immediately. The first sign of hypothermia, just like with humans, is shivering - however be careful because if their temperature drops too low, that can stop. Other indicators include; pale or blue gums, acting confused and fast or shallow breathing. If you think your dog might be experiencing hypothermia, raise their temperature slowly - make sure they are dry and use a blow dryer on low to warm them up. Also, make sure to call your vet immediately. You can help avoid hypothermia by making sure to not leave your pets in the car when it is freezing outside and never leave them outside for prolonged periods of time without access to shelter and warmth. Additionally, you can put water-proof jackets or sweaters on them to help keep them dry and warm - it also helps them look ridiculously cute!
Dogs also are at risk for frostbite - primarily on their ears, paws and tail. At first, the frostbitten area will look pale or gray and feel icy cold. In serious cases, the affected area can turn black. Similar to hypothermia, you can avoid frostbite by making sure to keep a close watch when your dog is playing in the snow - and ensuring they have access to warmth and shelter. Personally, my dogs paws will often hurt after playing in the snow. Ruff Wear makes many different types of boots and jackets to keep your pet comfy in all of the elements. Their Bark N' Boots snow boots are designed to provide your dog warmth and traction on snow and ice. Make sure to check out their website for all their great cold weather pet accessories.
Overall, snow can be a lot of fun for you and your pet - just make sure to keep them safe and warm!