5 Winter Dangers That Could Have Serious Consequences For Your Dog
Winter can be a dangerous time for your dog!
In all honesty, I think most people are more apt to recognize the dangers that winter poses in comparison to those that summer poses.
That is why I think summer can be even more dangerous for your dog!
However, it is important to understand that winter poses some risks you probably realize and others that you may not!
Here Are 5 Winter Dangers That Pose a Threat to Your Dog:
1. Freezing Cold Temperatures
Cold temperatures don’t just affect people; cold can kill dogs too!
And, 99.9 percent of dogs are at risk.
I don’t care if you have a Husky or a Malamute, they can still succumb to the cold temperatures.
Certainly, it is true that a furry breed is more likely to keep warm longer than a short haired breed, or a breed with seemingly no fur, like Greyhounds and hairless dogs.
But, cold temperatures also affect “house” dogs more quickly.
When a dog is used to being in a controlled environment like living in the house, his ability to control his body temperature in extreme conditions is compromised.
The rule is, if it is too cold outside for you, it is probably too cold outside for him.
Don’t leave him out longer than recommended for you with a coat.
Antifreeze is another potential danger that can literally kill your dogs.
Unfortunately, the components of antifreeze make it sweet smelling and sweet tasting.
If left out, chances are that your dogs will lap it up.
And, antifreeze, even in small quantities, is deadly.
There is “safer” antifreeze, but not totally safe because of what it does.
So if you buy it, keep it under lock and key and away from your children and pets.
Wind accentuates the cold and makes it worse!
I grew up in Wyoming, where we commonly had hurricane force winds throughout the year.
I remember getting to my grandmother’s house when I was little, and the wind literally ripping the car door off its hinges.
Wind is dangerous.
When you hear it roaring, keep your dog inside.
The wind makes cold temperatures worse.
It also can damage eyes.
Have you ever been outside when it is so cold and windy that your eyes water?
Your dog can damage his fragile eyes in the wind and cold.
I am very careful to either only let my dogs out for very short periods, or I go outside with them.
If in doubt, stand outside with your dog.
You won’t damage your own eyes, or become incredibly, uncomfortably cold when it is up to you how long you stand outside!
4. Snow Piles
I used to LOVE walking my dogs in heavy snow storms.
Growing up in Wyoming, and also living in Wisconsin for a few years, allowed me access to some major fun snow storms!
In those days, I used to let my dogs leap and bound and jump through the snow.
When I became a vet tech, I saw another side to the snow and snow piles.
Jumping in and out of snow piles and slipping around can rupture knees and damage hips.
We tend to think that our pets are invincible.
They are not!
Our pets can hurt themselves just like we could hurt ourselves if we were leaping and bounding in and out of the snow.
If I had the opportunity, I would still walk and play in the snow, but I would utilize a leash on my dogs and keep them from hurting themselves!
Chemicals are also another major concern in winter.
Ice melt (rock salt) and other chemicals are used everywhere!
These chemicals can also damage your car, which is why car washes are recommended after storms.
If these chemicals can eat through your metal car during the winter, imagine the damage they can do to your dog’s fur and skin.
I am not a proponent of locking your dog in a bubble and not taking him out and about.
However, I do recommend baths and rinses when your dog is exposed to any chemicals!
Life poses dangers for your dog, in any season.
It is important to educate yourself and keep your dog as well exercised, well trained and well socialized as you can, all year long, in a safe manner!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.