Protect Your Pup
Frigid Temperatures Can Freeze Fido
By Camp Bow Wow
It was just a few weeks ago that San Antonio shivered through days of Arctic cold. It wasn’t just the freeze, strong North winds made temperatures feel even lower. Although we’ve turned a new page on the calendar, we’re not out of the woods yet — our record of nine degrees actually happened in the month of February!
Every time winter weather threatens, we’re reminded we might lose power. Don’t forget Fido in your emergency preparations. Make sure you have enough of his food and medications on hand and count his water consumption in with the family’s as you stock up.
Needless to say, should we experience another deep freeze, or even a Snowmageddon, limit the time your pup spends outdoors in extreme temperatures and don’t leave him out unsupervised. Dogs can get hypothermia or frostbite just like people.
If the weather makes you feel cold, chances are it will for your furry family member too, especially if your pup has short hair or is elderly. In fact, some veterinarians recommend small and short-haired dogs layer up with a pup-sized coat or sweater just like their humans if the temperature dips below 45 degrees. And those cold-conscious dogs will really feel the nip when temperatures go below 32. In addition to warm-wear, you can add an extra blanket to his bed to allow Fido to cuddle in if he feels chilly.
Cold weather also can worsen some conditions like arthritis. Check your deck or patio for icy patches before letting your pup out. Any spot that’s elevated will be prone to freeze if it collects any moisture at all, whether from the atmosphere or a leaky hose or burst sprinkler head. Arthritic and elderly pups with less mobility might slide and injure themselves on those slippery surfaces.
Winter steals the day’s warmth quickly once the sun goes down, so even if your pup is one who enjoys the cool, make sure to bring him in after dark. Sweater up and limit the duration of that last potty break in the evening.
Long-haired dogs bred for cold like Huskies might love a chance to stretch their legs should San Antonio get snow. Make sure to dry your pup’s
wet fur when you can get him in, and don’t forget
to look for clumps of snow on his feet in between his footpads.
Be aware of Fido’s demeanor when he comes inside. Does he seem like he’s enjoyed his frosty romp? If he’s whining, shivering, stops moving, seems anxious or starts looking for a place to burrow, he may have contracted hypothermia, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Wrap your furry family member in a blanket or towel warmed in the dryer and call your vet if you are concerned.
Our “Texas Winter” will be over before we know it. Keep Fido’s comfort in mind, and soon he’ll be bounding through Bluebonnets.