The Star-Herald

Cold weather tips for dogs

The Central Aroostook Humane Society is excited about our 2019 Fundraisers.  We will be set up for the Spring Trash & Treasure Sale at the Forum April 13 and 14.  Our Paws for the Cause Walk will be June 1, Fall Trash & Treasure Sale, our popular 10th Annual Toast to the Animals will be Oct. 19, and Pictures with Santa Paws on Nov. 30.  Please be sure to mark your calendars for these fun events.

Even long term pet parents could use some help keeping their dogs happy and healthy during the old weather months.  Whether you’ve got a short-haired hound or a thick-tufted malamute, here are some tips to keep your four-legged friend comfortable and active during the long winter months.

Usually groom your pet?  Keep the cut longer during cold months.  While trimming a long haired dog’s fur can help prevent snowball build up, cutting too short removes their natural warmth barrier, so skip the buzz cut.

Dress them up:  Get a coat or sweater for short-haired companions.  They’ll thank you for the extra coverage.

Forgo a bath or two:  Washing pets strips their skin of natural oils and can dry out the skin, making it flaky and irritated. If you need to wash up a road-kill roller, use a moisturizing shampoo to help their skin retain some moisture.

Check their feet:  Keep an eye on toes and paw pads for irritation, cracking, sores or bleeding.  Ice can cut up their feet. Apply petroleum jelly before your pet goes out to help protect from some irritants.  Road sand and grit can get caught between toes and cause sores. Some folks have great success using dog booties.  Remember to size them to your dog’s feet if you give them a try.

Bring a towel:  All the road salts and chemicals that corrode your car’s undercarriage can also irritate your good boy’s feet and belly.  Licking that same stuff off is sure to cause digestive upset, too. Wipe them down after walks to get the grime off.

Treat them right:  It can be good for pets to get a little extra in their meals or receive additional snacks during cold months.  Busy bodies trying to stay warm burn extra calories, so don’t be shy on sharing pup-friendly treats.

If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them: A general rule of thumb:  if you can’t stand the cold temperatures long enough for your furry friend to do his business, chances are he can’t either.  So once he’s done his duty, head back inside where it’s warm. Best of luck on this task, especially with those folks whose dogs that love the winter snow.

Have a senior dog?  The cold can exacerbate arthritis in the hips.  Ramps on steps are handy, so is an entryway with a sizable floor mat.  If your old pup has weak joints, wet paws on a slippery floor can lead to falls, which could cause injury.  

Most of these suggestions are truly just good ol’ common sense.  Please stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check us out on Facebook. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closing for lunch 12 noon-12:30 p.m..  Please be responsible, spay and neuter your pets!

Reference: Jennifer Michaud — Discover Aroostook County

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.