All animals suffer when the weather turns cold.
Picture created by Eve Hoffman
Picture created by Eve Hoffman
Taking the time to understand our dogs individual needs as the weather changes is important. All animals need protection from the extreme hot and cold weather, as well has the minor heat and cold waves throughout the year.
All year Sir. Duke cuddles with me, even under the blanket due to he does not have a thick fur coat. Matter of fact, Sir. Duke's underbelly is almost fur free.
Now, Bojangles does have a thicker fur coat then Sir. Duke. His underbelly has a thin fur on his chest to no fur on his belly. Bojangles loves to cuddle tightly against me only when the weather is not humid and is much cooler.
My other three dogs are a mix of German Shepard, Labrador, and Irish setter. All of them have a thick fur coat from long to short fur. Sammy, Kujo, and Angel only cuddle when the weather turns cool. All three of them cuddle as much as possible when the temperature drops below the 50's degree Fahrenheit.
All animals need safety from the cold, wet, and windy weather of fall, winter, or spring.
When the weather drops to and below freezing temperatures all animals should be brought inside the home. Despite having fur coats, animals can and do die from freezing or enduring long lengths of cold weather.
If a person is unable to allow the dog to come in and out of the house freely to keep warm as the weather changes throughout the day, a proper shelter must be provided.
A proper shelter will consist of four walls, a roof, and a floor. A bed made out of pillows and blankets should be a standard all year. Now, during the cooler weather a heavy blanket should be provided. Dogs are able to cuddle under a blanket, even when there is no one available to help lay the blanket onto the dog. I notice Sir. Duke will tuck his head into a blanket and use his breath to warm himself. So, providing a blanket can be the difference between health, life, and death.
Tips from the ASPCA
- "Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
- Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
- Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents.Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
- Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
- Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
- Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
- Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death. ASPCA"
I love the last tip from the SPCA. Yes, if a person is feeling the cold, so are the animals. Despite people wanting to deny being an animal, humans are just animals that have the same needs. One of the few deference is our responsibilities to all animals under the heavens to care for and love.
The best rule of thumb is to treat our furry loved ones with the kindness and protection that we gift to ourselves.
Caring is sharing. Please share Bully Love and Devotion to spread animal awareness and education, while helping to finds homes for dogs in need.