Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets. www.greytinspirations.com

Winter Tips

Winter is really beginning to hit hard in many places. It’s been cold here where I live (22 degrees this morning — brrrr!) and there was a big power outage in parts of New England this week. It’s a good idea to think about your dog’s needs when it gets this cold, whether he lives indoors or outdoors.

Make sure you keep fresh water available for your dog at all times. You can’t depend on snow or ice as a water source, and you really don’t want to encourage your dog to drink too much from these sources. Your dog needs as much water in winter as in summer to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Your dog may need extra calories in the winter, so consider increasing his food amounts. This is especially true if your dog lives outdoors or works or plays outdoors a lot. it takes a lot of energy to keep the body warm in winter so those calories will be used.

Take care of your dog’s paws. Snow and ice both present hazards to your dog’s paws. They can accumulate between the toes and ball up on the fur causing cuts and cracks. So, dry your dog’s feet off after he’s been in snow or ice. You can protect your dog’s pads with either petroleum jelly (vaseline to most of us), or with products made for paws.

Keep your dog groomed in the winter. Grooming helps keep the dead hair removed so the body can insulate itself. Towel dry your dog or even blow dry him if he gets wet outdoors this time of year.

Keep your dog warm and out of drafts. Use blankets or pads on the floors in areas that may be tiled or uncarpeted. If your dog sleeps outdoors make sure he has good shelter, such as a doghouse with layers of warm, dry bedding.

Dogs are susceptible to the same winter problems as people. They can suffer from cold and get frostbitten, and snow and ice can do a number on them. Many dogs love to play in the snow but they can slip and slide in it and on ice and injure themselves, so try to supervise them when they’re outside. Watch out for antifreeze poisoning, too. People use a lot of it this time of year and the taste is very enticing to dogs.

There are fun things to do with your dog this time of year. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your dog has to hibernate until spring. I know a lot of people who find ways to let their dogs be part of the holiday festivities. One friend likes to get her dog’s picture made with Santa. She also takes her dogs out, wearing their reindeer ears and other Christmas things, to visit people in nursing homes and kids in school. I know someone else who belongs to a caroling group and who takes her dog with her (in costume) when they go singing through the neighborhood. Her dog is always a big hit. Other people have dogs that play a role in their Christmas plans at home, playing with guests, entertaining everyone.

Your dog can even motivate you to get out and get some exercise this time of year. A couple of years ago one woman http://www.wpxi.com/health/9268925/detail.html used her dog as a way to lose weight. She even wrote a book about this weight loss method. On her diet she said she couldn’t eat anything that smelled good or made noises — if she did, it would make her dog come running to get some, too. You can put your dog to work this winter to start your own diet, if that’s one of your goals. (It’s always one of mine.) All the exercise is good for your dog, too.

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December 21, 2008 - Posted by | General | , , , , ,

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