1. Remember that older dogs and puppies are more sensitive to cold climate. Cold weather can be especially difficult on dogs with diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Older and arthritic dogs need extra care with regards to slipping on ice and and falling or jumping into and out of vehicles.
2. Pay extra attention to dog’s tails and paws and fur around heat sources like heaters, furnaces, candles and fireplaces. Severe burns can result so it may be best to crate some dogs when traveling or visiting these types of dangers they might not be used to.
3. Take care when traveling that your dog has a steady supply of fresh, clean, unfrozen water. If dogs are thirsty they may be tempted to drink from dirty or contaminated puddles, run off, or fountains. These unhealthy sources can harbor, oil, chemicals, giardia and antifreeze to name just a few.
4. Short haired breeds of dogs may require a sweater when braving extremely cold temperatures. While grooming is good, don’t shave your dog’s fur excessively in the colder months. And if your dog gets wet from weather or bathing, dry him/her thoroughly and allow the dog to warm up before continuing on outside in cold weather.
5. If your dog is going to be exposed to cold weather then adjust food intake. Extra calories are needed for cold weather exposure.
6. Dogs left outdoors in cold weather tend to find shelter in often dangerous places like wells, cellars, unsafe structures, under porches, etc. Always provide safe, warm shelter.
7. Always wipe your canine’s pads and paws and belly after walking outside on salted walkways and streets. The chemicals used can be toxic and dangerous to dogs who may lick their paws and in doing so ingest harmful chemicals.
Carmel L. Mooney is the editor of Roadtripsforcouples.com, an online travel magazine. Carmel ‘s been on local talk radio for 17 years and now co-hosts THE GOOD LIFE with Mike the Wine Guy on KMYC 1410AM. Her family travel column can be read in California Kids Magazine at: valcomnews.comYou can follow her on Twitter: @CarmelLeeMooney or Facebook. Carmel is also the Executive Director of Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions, a non-profit that trains and places Autism Service Dogs. You can read her service dog blog at: www.pawsitivesolutions.org