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Winter is coming!

This week some cities around the United States had the first snow of the season.

Pretty?

Stunning! ⛄🎄 ☃️

Dangerous? For thousands of pets....very!

So, how can you make sure that your fur baby is safe during the Holidays?

🐾Be prepared: If your dog or cat loooves the snow and must play with it: Keep a stack of clean towels by the door so they’re handy to wipe down your pet after a snowy walk.

Shovel your stoop and walkways, and then apply a non-toxic ice melt specially formulated to be safe for dogs and kids. Avoid salt, which can burn your dog’s pads.

This is especially important because if your dog takes a spill on the ice, he can rupture a ligament or sprain a limb; senior dogs are at highest risk.

🐾Grooming: Pay attention to your pet's feet, which are the most vulnerable to ice, snow, and ice-melting chemicals.

So please, trim the hair between his pads so it’s even with his paws.

This helps keep ice balls from forming between and around his pads, which can cause trauma and frostbite.

Then trim the hair around the paws so it doesn’t come in contact with the ground.

🐾Moisturize: His paws can dry and crack just like your own heels, especially if they’re tough.

Massaging a thin layer of balm into them just before you take him outside can help protect them against snow and ice, and will soothe cuts, scratches, and minor irritations.

🐾Hydrate: Dogs need it as badly in winter as they do in summer; give him access to fresh, clean water, always.

🐾Run a humidifier in your home: it will help your dog’s chapped pads, and itchy, flaky winter skin.

🐾Buy Dog shoes: If your dog will wear them, and if they stay on, shoes offer your dog’s feet the best protection against ice and chemicals.

If he objects to wearing them, first try them indoors for short spells; praise him and treat him, and gradually increase the length of time he wears them.

🐾Dress him up: A short-haired breed can chill easily, whether he’s a Chihuahua or a Doberman.

If it’s cold outside and he has a thin coat or short hair, he needs a dog jacket or coat; look for full coverage and a turtleneck or collar.

But remember, a dog coat or jacket will not protect his extremities: don’t overstay the cold, take care of business and get inside where it’s warm.

🐾Don't expose him to cold for too long: Prolonged exposure to the bitter cold is dangerous for dogs, who are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just like we are.

Although running and playing in the deep snow is big fun, it’s also hard work, and can lead to exhaustion or heart failure in small breeds and overweight dogs.

Know your dog’s limits and don’t let him overdo it.

🐾Tidy up the yard: When you allow snow to pile up against fences, it also creates an easy escape route for an opportunist. And be advised that snow buildup on your roof is dangerous when it melts enough to slide off; keep your dog away from the overhang if you can’t clean your roof.

Bottom line:

Enjoy the winter wonderland in short bursts. ❄️❄️❄️

Stay outside with your dog in the snowy cold, and when your own body says it’s time to come inside, your dog is probably ready, too.

As long as you stay alert, keeping your dog protected in the snow and ice should be no sweat.  

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