In Texas, we’re frequently concerned about ways to keep our pets safe during the summertime heat, but don’t forget that temperatures often drop below freezing during the winter. Even when daytime temperatures are pleasant, it’s not uncommon for temps to dip below 32 degrees overnight.
While many dogs are content snuggling up indoors during chilly weather, there are plenty of dogs that still want to be active outside, according to Christopher Lu, Director of Operations at Doggie’s Wonderland in Coppell and Plano, Texas. “Dogs are active animals throughout the year and winter is no different,” Lu said. “As long as pet owners take the proper precautions during cold weather, dogs can still have fun without being cooped up indoors at all times.”
Pet owners should be aware of the risks associated with cold weather and what preventative measures to take for both indoor and outdoor pets to keep them safe, healthy and happy.
- Keep your dog inside as much as possible when it gets cold. A good rule of thumb, especially for short-haired breeds, is that if you’re cold enough to go inside, your dog is probably ready to find warmth as well.
- When pets will be outside for significant amounts of time, make sure they have water that’s not frozen, a bed off the ground, and an appropriate shelter to keep them out of the wind, rain, sleet or snow.
- Make sure your dog has fresh water that’s not frozen. If your pup’s water bowl freezes over, it may go searching for water in puddles or buckets — which could be contaminated with toxic substances like antifreeze or oil.
- If your dog goes outside during snowy or icy weather, make sure to thoroughly wipe off paws and pads, legs and stomach to remove any ice, salt or dirt that may have accumulated on his/her feet. This way, your dog won’t be tempted to lick the salt off their feet, which could be tough on its digestive tract.
- If your dog still has regular outdoor play sessions in the winter, give it an extra serving of food, especially protein. This will keep them in good shape and keep their energy levels up when cold weather can drain your pet’s energy.
- Refrain from shaving your dog’s coat in the winter. He or she will need the extra protection when the weather gets cold. If you have a short-haired breed, consider purchasing a dog jacket or sweater for your pet if they will wear it. Even with this protection, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s comfort, as dogs lose most of their body heat from the pads on their feet and their ears.
- Don’t leave your dog alone in your car during winter months. Just as cars can lock in heat during the summer, they can also hold in cold air.
- Antifreeze is a lethal poison to dogs, so make sure all vehicle spills are cleaned up.
If your dog needs a warm, fun place to spend his days while you’re at work, call Doggie’s Wonderland or learn more about doggie day care and boarding services at www.doggieswonderland.com.
Doggie’s Wonderland is a cheerful daily dog daycare and boarding facility with locations in Plano and Coppell, Texas. Unlike most dog daycare, Doggie’s Wonderland follows a “kennel free” philosophy. Unless it is bedtime or dinnertime, all dogs have open access to its indoor facility and outdoor playground.
Doggie’s Wonderland – Plano
505 Alma Drive Plano, TX 75075 (MAP)
Tel: (972) 881-1905
We are located on the southwest corner of Alma & Plano Parkway. Across the street from Collin Creek Mall and just one block away from Central Expressway (Highway 75) or George Bush Turnpike (Highway 190).
Doggie’s Wonderland – Coppell
120 E. Bethel School Road Coppell, TX 75019 (MAP)
Tel: (972) 745-9100
We are located on the northeast corner of Denton Tap Road & Bethel School (across the street from the post office) and only 4 miles away from DFW International Airport.