The village requires all dogs to be leashed when walking. But during bad weather, it's especially important. It's easier for dogs to get lost during snowstorms; more dogs are lost during winter than any other season.
Leashes also prevent dogs from wandering onto frozen rivers and streams. A dog that falls through the ice can quickly succumb to hypothermia.
When bathing dogs during winter, be sure they're completely dry before taking them for walks. A damp dog is more susceptible to hypothermia.
Puppies are more susceptible to frostbite than adult dogs. In brutally cold conditions, paper training inside is a better option than potty breaks outside.
Keep cats indoors. Cats left outside often seek warm shelter under the hoods of cars. Many are injured or killed when the ignition is turned on (the same is true for wild animals). Bang on your hood a few times before starting the engine.
Go light on the road salt. It can burn the pads on your dog's feet. Wipe the dog's feet and underbelly after a walk. If ingested during self-grooming, too much salt or de-icer can lead to drooling, vomiting and even death.
If your dog or cat's fur is prone to collecting ice balls, remove them as soon as possible. Ice balls can cause frostbite.
Frostbitten skin usually looks page or grey. Check paws, ears and tails after long bouts outdoors. It can be treated by wrapping the area in a dry towel for gradual warmth. A vet visit may be necessary.
Buy a coat for your dog. They're practically essential for short-hair breeds.
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