Six Tips to Prepare for Winter and Protect Your Dog
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Now that the snow and winter chill are here, you’ve probably thought about winterizing your home and yard, but what about your dog? Have you considered how winter affects your canine friend? Have you thought about how you can protect your dog from the dangers associated with the colder months? Below are six tips to ensure your dog’s safety as you make your winter preparations.
Clean your yard. It’s important to maintain a space that’s walkable for your dog. When you keep leaves or other debris hanging around, these items collect water and become slippery, particularly during ice storms or when temperatures are below freezing. The last thing anyone wants to do is break a bone. Protect yourself and your pup by keeping things tidy.
Perform outdoor repairs and maintenance. If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that it’s essential to clear your gutters annually to guarantee that water flows properly. According to an expert, clogged gutters can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars due to water damage to the interior and exterior of your home, as well as a leaky roof. Expenses aside, proper gutter maintenance is also imperative to ensure your dog’s safety. If water drips or builds up in one location, icicles can begin to form. Since icicles can fall anytime and anywhere, it’s best to avoid them all together to keep your dog free from harm.
Purchase or use items that are pet-friendly. During winter storms, it’s common to use de-icing salts on sidewalks or walkways to keep them from being too slick. Unless the packaging indicates that it’s safe for pets, these salts are unfortunately made with chemicals that are toxic to animals. While some pet-friendly alternatives are better, the best options are sand and gravel because they’re natural.
Be aware of your surroundings outside. You may purchase pet-friendly products, but it doesn’t mean your neighbors are going to be as conscientious as you. When you’re taking your dog for a walk, do your best to avoid de-icing salt all together. Should you accidentally walk on some, remember to wash your pup’s paws immediately after you’re inside your home. You want to do this right away because de-icing salt is harmful to paws and can be quickly ingested, should your pet decide to do any licking. Based on the facts, if a dog ingests less than an ounce of de-icing salt per 2.3 pounds of body weight, it can cause death. You also want to be cognizant of antifreeze puddles. They’re just as deadly, and it only takes a few licks.
Store any household or outdoor items. Put these items in a secure place, especially ones that are considered poisonous. You may be able to find non-toxic alternatives to assist with keeping your pathways clean or fertilizing your yard, but that’s generally not the case with pool products since chemicals are necessary for winter preparation. Designate a locked location inside your home or a shed outside to ensure these products and tools stay away from your pet.
Make sure to properly secure your pool cover. This eliminates any risk of your dog falling in and hitting ice or being submerged in cold water with pool chemicals. There are many options available to make your pool safer. Whether you have a pool or not, it’s always best to supervise your dog outside during winter.
Keeping your dog safe during the colder months doesn’t require a lot of effort. When you’re winterizing your home and yard, think about how you usually make winter preparations and consider the information you have learned here. Being prepared is not the same as being overly cautious; it’s about being a good pet parent.
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