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Keep Your Dog Safe all Winter

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  • Keep Your Dog Safe all Winter

    Just because your dog has a fur coat doesn't mean that he's protected from the cold. You'll need to protect him all season from such potential problems as cracked paws, dry skin, frostbite and hypothermia.

    GIVE HIM SHELTER---Most pets should live indoors during the winter, but if yur dog is just too big to stay insiede, or if you're allergic, make sure he has proper cover. ELEVATE HIS DOGHOUSE---with cinder blocks or a wooden platform to help keep the floor dry. His home should be just big enough for him to lie in comfortably. If it's too large, his body heat won't warm it. BUILD THE DOOR OFF CENTER so your dog can curl up to one side and avoid the wind. COVER THE FLOOR with straw for insulation, and change it when it becomes wet or dry. NEVER LEAVE HIM OUTSIDE in severe weather, especially is he's old or has a health condition.

    BUNDLE HIM UP---Dogs are suspecitible to hypothermia and frostbite, so give your pet extra layers before you take him outside. DRESS HIM in a sweater or coat with a high collar or turtleneck (available at pet stoeres). COVER UP his belly and his back, all the way to his tail, to avoid overexposure.

    PROTECT HIS PAWS---Road salt and ice can irritate your dog's paws, making them crack and bleed. SLIP DOG BOOTS ON HIS FEET or apply a layer of musher's wax (available at pet stores) before he goes outside. PICK UP and carry small dogs across salted areas. KEEP A TOWEL BY THE DOOR to wipe off his legs, paws and belly, and remove snow from
    his pawpads once he's inside.

    CARE FOR HIS SKIN---Even dogs can suffer from itchy, flaky winter skin. BRUSH HIM several times a week to remove dead hair and stimulate oil glands in his skin. BATHE HIM using warm water and a moisturizing pet shampoo. Don't let him go outside until he's completely dry.

    SHIELD HIM FROM FIRE HAZARDS---Sparks from fireplaces can singe your dog's coat, and space heaters can be dangerous. PLACE A SCREEN in front of the fireplace, and teach your dog not to lie in front of it. KEEP HIM IN ANOTHER ROOM if you use space heaters in your house---a wagging tail can easily knock one over, and that can start
    a fire.

    KEEP HIM AWAY FORM ANATIFREEZE---Dogs love the sweet taste of antifreeze, but eating as little as a teaspoon of it can be fatal. STORE ANTIFREEZE IN SEALED CONTIANERS out of your dog's reach, and be sure to cleanup spills immediately. STORE ANTIFREEZE IN SEALED CONTAINERS out of your dag's reach, and be sure to cleanup spills immediately. SWITTCH TO A PROPYLENE GLYCOL-BASED ANTIFREEZE which is less harmful. Rush him to the vet if he is listless, starts to stagger or vomits.

    DON'T LET HIM WANDER OFF---Dogs can lose a scent easily in snow and ice, so they may not be able to find their way home. KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH, especially during a
    snowstorm. MAKE SURE HE'S GOT ID TAGS with current contact info in case someone finds hin on his own.

    DON'T LEAVE HIM IN A CAR---A parked car can turn into anicebox quickly, and your dog could freeze.






    [Edited by Texasmujer on 11th February 2005 at 20:49]
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