When the temperatures dip below zero and the cold becomes overwhelming, sometimes people forget that their furry friends are also affected by the frigid cold. If you are a dog owner, taking care of your dog's health and safety should be an important priority in the extreme cold of winter. But what can you do for them when subzero temperatures set in? Get to know a few tips as well as signs you need to go to the animal hospital so your dog will be as well cared for as possible during the next cold snap.
Limit Their Time Outdoors
For most dog parents, the truth of the matter is that their dogs have to go outside at some point throughout the day. They need to do their business and dogs tend to like to run and sniff around.
However, you should be very conscientious of how much time your dog spends outside. In fact, in subzero temperatures, a five minute maximum outside time is generally a good idea. This gives your dog enough time to sniff out the perfect place to potty (as many dogs will do) and even run around a little.
Any prolonged exposure to subzero temperatures should be avoided as much as possible. If they are out for a long period of time by accident, you will want to check for signs of frostbite. This can include discoloration of the nose, ears, and paws (gray, bluish, or pale), swelling, pain, and blisters on the affected areas.
If you notice any signs of frostbite (which can occur quite quickly in subzero temperatures), be sure to take your dog to the animal hospital straight away. This will ensure they get the proper warming and treatment they need for the condition.
Consider Indoor Potty Alternatives
Subzero temperatures can sometimes be scary, especially if there is any wind or snow along with them. As such, you may want to consider indoor potty alternatives for your four-legged friends.
Potty pads are one option. Dogs can have a designated area where you put the pads and encourage them to go potty. You could even use litter boxes for dogs. This type of training may take some work but can be worth it to keep your dog protected from the bitter cold.
There are also diapers for dogs that can be an effective option for reducing the number of outside trips you need to make with your dog in super cold temperatures.
Now that you know more about caring for your dog in subzero temperatures, you can be sure you are doing what is best for your dog and that you get them to the animal hospital of they show signs of injury from the cold.
Contact a company like Apple Valley Animal Hospital to learn more.