February Paws Blog: Winter Safety Series

Brrr… How cold is too cold? How long is too long? In Cleveland it is not unheard of to have all four seasons in the Winter. Remember that 64 degree January 9th? Then I’m betting you also recall the Polar Vortex of January 2019. Point being, as the weather fluctuates we have to be flexible and ready. We can’t assume anything, even a 34 degree day can feel colder with the wind-chill factor. Experts say 45 degrees is too cold for Paws to be outside for long periods of time. As you are planning walks and toilet breaks, keep a few things in mind:

1. If your Paws loves to sniff everything like Alayna does, this can significantly slow your walk down and keep you all out longer. Pre-plan routes to take that will still fall within the safe time frames.

2. Paws with thicker coats or those with multiple coats like the Shiba Inu’s (Mochi) and Australian Shepard’s (Aria) of the world can withstand colder temperatures a little longer but still require supervision. Sweaters and coats can help to repel a lot of the wind they may otherwise sustain.

3. Boundary setting is very important in inclement weather, especially if your neighborhood is prone to wildlife and your Paws are prone to chase. Unless the perimeter is fenced, a leash should be donned at all times so that they do not chase a rabbit into the woods and before they realize, they are in territory unmarked and unfamiliar to them without a clue as to
how to get back home. Now they are lost in cold temperatures which can lead to dangers such as hypothermia and frostbite.

Side note: Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when the body
loses heat faster than it can produce heat. Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Smaller Paws will lose heat much faster that larger Paws so take extra precaution.

Cold chart for your dog

Fighting The Cold Weather

Some can’t stand them and others can’t leave home without them. Not you, your Paws! I remember my cousin’s dog, Prince, playing dead anytime clothes were put on him. (True story). If, in fact, you can get your Paws to don those stylish stitches, let’s go over a few options.

Sweater and Jacket Options include:

  • Fur or fleece lined jackets
  • Bubble Coats for short-haired
  • Insulated Parka Coat

Let us know how these winter safety tips help you and your Paws. We’d love to hear from you.

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