12 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR DOG WARM/COOL/SAFE THIS CHRISTMAS
It’s Christmas time and that means chilly weather, maybe some snowstorms in the northern hemisphere and heatwaves in the southern hemisphere.
A white Christmas in Chicago, Montreal, French Alps, Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany is on the cards.
Down south in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Antarctica (OK, we’re joking about Antarctica) and other sweaty locales, it is summer. Santa Claus is dressed in board shorts and delivers presents on a magic surfboard. You didn’t know that?
So, with different weather in different parts of the world, this Christmas we need to make sure our beloved dogs are kept safe from the elements and other hazards.
Here’s 12 tips:
- The ASPCA has a great tip for animal owners. Wondering if your pet is cold or hot? How are you feeling? Are you hot? Are you cold? The ASPCA says “if it is too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet”. Makes sense, right?
- What breed is your dog? That is a key question. The American Kennel Club notes dogs with short heads and snouts like Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chin and Pekingese have a tough time in heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer nosed doggos. On hot days they suggest keeping these types of dogs inside with air-conditioning.
- Just like Halloween, some pet owners love to dress their dogs in costumes at Christmas. A Santa, Elf or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer costume might look cute but is it safe for your pet? Some dogs get stressed in a costume no matter how well designed it is. Some costumes are poorly designed and can restrict an animals’ movement and may hinder breathing. Dogs may show they are stressed by licking their lips, yawning, standing still or panting.
- If you live in an area hit by snow, there’s plenty of hazards to look out for. If you take your pooch out for a walk, make sure you wash and dry their feet and stomach when you return home. Ice melt and other chemicals that can irritate them. The same with summer yard chemicals. Keep your dogs off lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized. Some plants can also be poisonous if your curious pal decides to chew on them.
- No matter the weather outside your pooch needs to poop and pee. Make sure there is a comfortable, safe place for them to seek relief. We have the perfect solution. Porch Potties come in different sizes and can be used inside and out. If you leave it near the backdoor pooch can run out, do his/her business and scamper back inside and relax by the fireplace or on the cool tiles of your kitchen.
- Grooming can be critical as the seasons change. If you’re heading into a balmy hot, sweaty summer then your doggo might need a haircut. That will help keep them cool. If snowstorms are in your weather forecast, then giving pooch a shave down should be avoided. Keeping your fur baby furry in winter will help keep them warm. They still need haircuts. Long-haired dogs can pick up salt crystals, chemicals, mud, clinging ice balls and other hazards on walks so make sure you keep an eye on that. Their hair between their toes also needs trimming.
- Your dog will enjoy this tip. In winter months it is suggested to feed your four-legged mate a little extra. They burn more calories to keep warm. Of course, whether it is hot or cold make sure there is plenty of fresh water for them to drink. They need to remain hydrated.
- Our dogs are curious creatures and always sniffing around the home or garage. Make sure chemicals are out of reach. In summer you may have chemicals for your pool and lawn and in winter you have anti-freeze, ice melt and other hazardous products on hand. They can be lethal if Rover decides to taste them.
- Where does your dog sleep? In winter make sure they are snoozing, whether in a crate or on a dog bed, away from drafts. A warm, but safely fitted jacket could be a great addition to your dog’s sleep routine. In summer, cool drafts may be welcome in your pup’s sleeping quarters. You need to make sure they are not going to overheat.
- Your doggo needs it if it is hot or cold. Doghouses are not good shelters in summer because they can trap heat and become unsafe. The great minds at Porch Potty came up with brilliant options to keep your dog cool, warm, comfortable … and basically living like a king or queen. Porch Potty has a line of canopies. You can attach them to your Porch Potty to protect your pooch from heat, rain and snow.
- If you’re walking your dogs in cold conditions keep them on the leash. The weather might be OK for a walk at the time, but that can change quickly. If your doggo runs off and a snowstorm later hits … well, we don’t want to think about it. And of course, never leave your dog in a car whether it is hot or cold. The temperature in a car can skyrocket or plummet and be lethal for your pup.
- When it heats up your furry pal loves a cool bath or swim. The safe option is to get a child-sized wading pool. Put some fresh water in and pooch will feel like he is in heaven as he has a soak. It’s the equivalent of creating a pet spa in your backyard. You should also use sunscreen. Dogs with short hair, white fur and pink skin are at most risk of sunburn. Dogs need sunscreen on their ears, nose and coats.