Keeping your canine companion safe is important all year-round, but there are special precautions that need to be taken during the winter months. Unfortunately, there are some cold weather misconceptions out there regarding canine care. Don’t be fooled by these three wintertime myths:
Myth #1: It’s not hot outside, so it’s okay to leave Fido in a parked car.
With the engine off, temperatures drop too low during the winter to leave your dog in the car. Leaving the engine on can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, putting your pup’s life in danger. It’s best to leave dogs safely at home while running errands.
Myth #2: Dogs with heavy coats are fine living outdoors during the winter.
Healthy heavy-coated dogs, like Huskies or Great Pyrenees, can typically spend more time outdoors playing in the snow than your average canine, but no dog is immune to hypothermia or frostbite. Dogs should always have access to unfrozen, fresh water and have the option to rest in a warm place away from the elements.
Myth #3: Dogs don’t need boots or jackets.
You may feel a little silly shopping for apparel for your four-legged best friend, but these items can help keep your dog safe when temperatures drop. Any sick, elderly, or short-haired dog can benefit from a sweater or jacket on a cold winter day for protection. Booties are often overlooked, but they’re especially important. It’s not uncommon for dogs to pick up toxic chemicals from ice melts and salts during winter walks, putting them at risk for ingesting dangerous substances when they lick their paws upon returning from an outing. Booties prevent this from happening. Another option is to wipe your pup’s feet with a warm washcloth after every winter stroll (be sure to wipe between the toes!).