When Jack Frost nips at your nose, he might be biting hard at your pup. As winter approaches, you need to prepare your pets for the colder weather, both in your home and in your yard.

1 Make sure your dog always has a full water bowl when outside, and check bowls often when it’s below freezing. (Your puppy’s tongue can get stuck, too.) If your dog sleeps outside, a weatherproof doghouse is a must, and should be able to retain heat, be well insulated and stay dry. However, during extremely low temperatures, all pets should be brought indoors.

2 If your dog’s hair is groomed short, let it grow a bit longer in the winter for warmth. Dogs were fortunate enough to be born with their very own fur coats, and they should use them.

3 People tend to gain a few extra pounds during the winter months, but unlike us, your dog actually should. Dogs need more calories in the winter to produce body heat, so increase the amount you feed your pet. Your pooch will definitely be pleased, but monitor this responsibly — being overweight isn’t healthy, either.

Keep your pet away from chemicals used to melt snow and ice. Not only can they irritate paws, but they can be deadly. If your pet comes in contact with them, wipe its paws with a wet cloth immediately and gently remove ice from between your pooch’s paw pads.

– Wendy Diamond is a pet lifestyle expert, author, animal rescue advocate and editorial director of Animal Fair magazine, www.animalfair.com


Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.

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