Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keeping Man's Best Friend Healthy During Winter

I love my dog Sasha more than anything, so making sure she stays healthy is one of my top priorities.

Living in California means we do not have to deal with snow, but the temperature can dip pretty low and we sometimes deal with a lot of ice in the Central Valley.

I'm Sasha...Thank you for reading Mom's blog!

Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  on how to keep your pup {and felines, if you are a cat lover} healthy & safe until Spring:

  1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife. 
  2. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape. 
  3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags. 
  4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. 
  5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? 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. 
  6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. 
  7. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself. 
  8. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape. 
  9. 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. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information. 
  10. 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.

Another thing Gary & I have to do is make sure Sasha is getting enough activity during these months.  She is an inside dog while we are at work, so she's not able to run off extra energy during the day.  We try to make up for this by taking her for regular walks to a local park where she can run around and by dropping her off at Doggy Day Care {aka my parents} to run around their huge yard at least once a week.

I'm such a lucky dog!

***Please note, I am NOT a dog expert, I just happen to have one of the sweetest, most loving dogs ever living with me, so I do my best to be a good dog mommy!  Ask your vet for REAL advice!!***

****Any other suggestions as to keeping your animal healthy & safe this winter?


  1. Your pup is adorable.

    Love this post. I'm momma to two adorable cats and I'm always worried about their safety! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Isn't it funny how we treat our animals like children?? I don't know what I would do without Sasha!

  2. great tips! i'm all about keeping my babies safe :)

    1. Thank you! We animal moms need to stick together!

  3. Awww, Sasha is so beautiful! I have a small pup so I can get away with putting sweaters on him, he has a collection :)

    Besides that I agree with making sure they get activity. My dog is inside all day while I'm at work and the first hing I do wehen I get home is put on my sneakers and take him for a walk. If he ever starts to lag, I tell him we need to get our cardio on!

    1. I love seeing small dogs in clothes. Somehow I don't think Sasha would look as cute!

      We also try to go for a walk as soon as we get home, so we can ALL walk off our energy from the day.

  4. I don't have any dogs but we are thinking of getting one soon. Not sure I'm up for the extra responsibility. :)

  5. I love this! I had no idea about the car/fridge situation.

    We have a three year old dog and his paw pads were bleeding a lot last winter (we have a lot more snow here). So, we would have to keep him inside for days and he would be bursting at the seams! And then someone told us about Musher's Paw - a goo that you rub on their paws before they go outside. Its expensive but works great!!

    1. The car as a fridge was one thing I didn't know about either. I would assume they mean more than just a few minutes though.
      I'll have to look for that Musher's Paw stuff. During the summer Sasha's paws get really dry and cracked.

  6. i wanted to cry when I read that cats are sleeping in my car and I can kill them!!!! very unique post, love!

    1. Yes, only YOU can prevent killing sleeping cats! Aww...thanks!