Baby its cold outside

Gaye Amick
Gaye Amick, CPT
A local dog trainer shares some tips for keeping your pet safe this winter
By: Gaye Amick, CPT
Northern Sky Obedience Academy
Winter is on its way to Northern Michigan and this can mean biting cold temperatures, piles of icy snow and chilly little paws. It’s the perfect time for a little extra care to ensure the best quality of life for your dog.  Even with the temperature drop, it’s important to actively pursue active healthy lifestyle with your pet.
Follow these simple tips to ensure your pet has a healthy, not so frigid winter.
  • Nutrition: to make sure your dog’s body is functioning to it’s full potential and to avoid the winter slump, be sure to feed them a nutritious diet.        Adding proper supplements is the easiest way to provide proper nutrition intake. Like humans, dogs become more susceptible to getting sick during the winter when our immune system abilities are lowered.
  • Exercise & Rest:  It’s important to stay active during the winter, even if this means playing indoors. Rest is also important so your dog can build up and store the extra energy they need to keep warm in cold temperatures. A good balance of exercise and rest is key.
  • Paw Care: Salt and other chemicals used to treat roads, in addition to the biting cold, can mean painful pads that leads to licking or itchy skin that leads to scratching. (If you ice your property, be sure to invest in a pet-safe brand). Wiping you dog’s paws after each time they’re outside will help remove irritants from the outdoor elements and prevent little cuts and cracks from forming. If your dog’s paws become irritated, try soaking them in warm water. If your dog continues to suffer from itchy paws or skin, try adding an Omega DHA suppelment.
  • Grooming: Proper brushing and grooming ensures better circulation and therefore a better ability to keep warm in the cold. It also helps to towel dry or blow dry (on low heat) to fully dry your dog after being outdoors in the elements. Also keep the fur trimmed on the bottom of your dogs feet, it will help decrease the chance of ice build up.
  • Vet Check Up: Always consult a veterinarian before drastically changing your pet’s routine, diet or if you notice behavioral or physical changes this winter.

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