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Showing posts with label protect. Show all posts
Showing posts with label protect. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Care Tips For Your Dog

Winter Care Tips For Your Dog
  For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it’s a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.
  Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it’s a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care.

1. Consider a coat.

  There are a few kinds of dogs who can benefit from a sweater or coat while outside. Dogs with short legs, like a Basset Hound or Corgi, may benefit from clothing to keep them warm, because their stature puts them in closer contact with snow. Dogs with a thin body type, like Greyhounds or Whippets, especially those with short fur, may benefit from a coat. Additionally, certain health conditions can make it difficult for affected dogs to regulate their body temperatures, so a sweater or coat for those pets couldn’t hurt.
Tips: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?

2. Go outside when the sun shines


  If your dog feels the cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball or other safe toy and play together in the sun.

3. No More Frozen Dinners!

  Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas . While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

4. Cozy bedding

  In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where he sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.

5. Learn how to walk safely in winter weather.
  Walking your dog in winter doesn’t have to be miserable or unsafe, provided you take proper precautions to protect yourself and your pet from conditions like wind, snow and ice. Be sure you and your dog are both properly outfitted — that includes protecting your dog’s paws from ice and deicing agents with booties or pet-safe gels. Use a front-clip harness to discourage pulling and a solid leash as opposed to a retractable one. When you’re out walking, be sure to avoid hazards like frozen ponds and make sure your dog’s clothing stays dry. And don’t forget to wipe your dog’s paws afterward — many salts and ice-melters are toxic to pets.

  And remember, it’s important to listen to your dog. If he’s shaking, cowering or attempting to head back home, it might be too cold for him.

6. Find exercise alternatives.


  Some days, winter conditions like ice or extreme cold may prevent both you and your dog from getting outside, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get some exercise. Consider playing tug or fetch, creating your own agility course inside, or feeding a small portion of your dog's food from a food puzzle. Just remember, when you’re playing games like fetch, it’s best to do these things on a carpeted surface, rather than on hardwood floors, which can be slippery.

7. Protect your dog from heaters

  Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!

8. Moisturize

  Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to his food. Coconut and fish oils are easy foods that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.

9. Latest Fad Diet?


  Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

10. Dogs also should be kept inside if possible. 
  If kept outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Use a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate your pet against the cold. Different breeds of dogs have different sheltering needs. Purchase a commercially produced doghouse, or contact your local humane society for construction plans for a doghouse suitable for your climate. Please be sure to contact your veterinarian if you have questions.

11. Keep your dog hydrated

  Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure he has access to a water bowl, check it often and break ice that forms on top.

12. Groom your dog

  Your dog needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing him outside

13. The Deadly Drink

  The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly -- even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

14. Snow removal


  Snow can be a lot of fun but also dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near fences offers your dog escape routes that even well trained dogs often can’t resist. When you clear snow in your yard, pile it away from fences to prevent your dog from climbing over. Snow and ice often accumulate on rooftops and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, this accumulation can slide and injure your dog. If you can’t clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog away from the roof overhang to prevent injury.

15. Paw care is a must

  Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between his pads to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt on city sidewalks can also burn your dog’s pads and is toxic, so after walks around the neighborhood, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove any salt – you don’t want him licking it off. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect his paws

16. Salty Solution

  Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws - not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

17. Never leave your dog unattended in the car, no matter what the season

  Just as cars can get dangerously hot in summer, freezing cold temperatures are equally dangerous for your dog in winter. Leaving the car running involves additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning if the car is parked in a garage. Leave your dog at home when you go out to run errands.

18. Joy Ride

  Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

19. Watch where your dog plays

  Although your dog is likely to be having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don’t ever stay out too long. If you’re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It’s easy for him to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.

20. Special care for seniors
  Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It’s very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog, but be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your dog has a warm soft rest area to recuperate after activity. If you don’t already give your senior dog a natural joint supplement to lubricate the joints and ease the discomfort of arthritis, you may want to consider adding one in winter. Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather.


  Winter often brings colder temperatures and elements like wind, sleet and snow. But that doesn’t mean you and your dog have to hibernate until spring. Here are some things you can do to help prepare your dog for winter and keep him happy, healthy and active during the colder months.

More informations: Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Parasite Prevention and Removal Remedies That Don't Work

Parasite Prevention and Removal Remedies That Don't Work
  Many dog owners and animal lovers who wouldn't hurt a fly, are happy to make an exception for fleas and ticks.
  And while flea and tick medications are the most effective preventative strategies that a pet parent can employ during tick and flea season, some people are likely tempted to try home remedies and alternative methods for tick and flea removal.

Putting Garlic in Pet Food


  Even though a lot of people think this a safe and effective way to prevent fleas, there’s no scientific evidence that garlic — whether it’s fresh from the bulb, powdered or in a supplement — can keep the parasites at bay. Even worse, garlic can be toxic to pets. Garlic contains substances that damage red blood cells in dogs in cats, potentially leading to life-threatening anemia if ingested in large quantities.

Dish Detergent
  Dousing your dog in dish detergent might make his fur a little cleaner, and you may get rid of some of the fleas and ticks, but dogs' skin have a different pH level than humans, and using dishwater detergent can actually be dry and irritating to their skin.
Even if the dish soap does help kill a few fleas, the tenacious parasites that are left behind are guaranteed to breed and repopulate your home and dog.

People forget that there are four stages to a flea. The egg, the larva, pupa and adult. You need a medication that controls the entire life cycle. Even if what you use kills the adult fleas, that isn't control.

Burning a Tick off with Lit Match

  Holding a lit match next to fur to remove a tiny parasite should set off alarm bells in your head. If anything, this tick-removal technique could set your poor pet on fire. You should also avoid freezing off a tick with an aerosol-based freezing gel, as you’re more likely to hurt your pet than help him.

Alcohol

  Rubbing alcohol will kill fleas and ticks, but if you're going to use alcohol, be careful about it. Generally, experts recommend dropping fleas or ticks into a glass or jar of rubbing alcohol.
  Don't pour alcohol on a tick that's on your dog. The tick is attached to your dog, and the alcohol will make the tick spit out its toxin.
  Instead, put on gloves—to protect yourself from possible tick toxins—and remove the nasty little parasite with tweezers. Grab the tick right where its mouthparts are attached to your dog’s skin and slowly pull straight back.

Dipping Pet in Motor Oil, Bleach, Vinegar or Turpentine

  Bathing your dog or cat in motor oil, bleach or turpentine is dangerous way to attempt to get rid of fleas or ticks. Depending on the substance, it could cause serious health problems, chemical burns, even death. Vinegar, while it may seem like the safer bet, also has its problems. According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, ingesting undiluted vinegar can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, mouth irritation and pain.

   While it may be tempting to try and treat fleas and ticks on your own, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to find the best—and safest—option for you and your pets.

   An honest attempt by some well meaning pet owners sometimes ends up causing some untoward side effects in their pets.


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5 Signs Your Dog Loves You

5 Signs Your Dog Loves You
  We love our dogs as if they are members of our families – because to us they are! We show our dogs we love them in so many ways outside of just their regular care and maintenance, by doing things like buying them special treats and toys. But how do our dogs tell us they love us too? Sometimes it might feel like a one-sided relationship, but dogs love us just as much as we love them!

1. He Makes Eye Contact


  In the human world, we usually make eye contact to show that we’re engaged and paying attention. That’s not the case in the dog world. When dogs lock eyes with each other, it’s often considered rude or aggressive. And yet, when dogs stare at their favorite humans, it’s usually out of love, not war. When you look into your pup’s eyes and he gazes back with relaxed eyes showing little to no white, it usually means he’s happy and comfortable with you.

2. Sleeping With You

  Dogs are pack animals, and in the wild wolves and other canids sleep huddled together in packs. This helps keep them warm and help them feel safe. It’s also a way for your dog to show you he cares. He wants to be near you, and this is his natural way of showing you he feels comfortable and sees you as family.

3. Gift Giving

  If you’re hanging out and your pup brings you their favorite toy, take it as a compliment. But, more importantly, take it and toss it out for them to fetch. Bringing you the gift is a sign of their love and desire to play.

4. Licking your face

  Dogs lick people’s faces for a few different reasons, but in many cases it’s a sign of love and affection. Puppies typically lick faces even more than adult dogs. This behavior comes from wolf cubs, who lick their mothers’ faces to signal hunger so they will be fed. Dogs don’t feed their young the same way wolves do, but the licking instinct remains. A dog may also lick you in a submissive way, to let you know that it is not a threat. And of course, your licking dog may also simply be grooming you. Dogs groom each other as a gesture of intimacy when a solid bond is in place, so you can definitely take grooming as a sign of love from your dog.


5. He Wags His Tail

  Tail wagging may seem like an obvious sign of love, but this behavior is more complex than you may think. A tail wag can have a lot of different meanings — and they’re not always friendly. Thankfully, when your dog gives a full-body wag with the tail held at mid-height, accompanied by other signs of positive body language, the message is pretty clear: He’s happy and excited to see you. Now, if your dog’s tail wags more to the right side of his rear, it just might be an even better sign he loves you. An Italian neuroscientist and two veterinarians discovered this by using cameras to track the tail-wag angles of 30 pet dogs as they were each shown their owner, a person they didn’t know, a cat and an unfamiliar dog. When the pups saw their owners, their tails wagged most strongly to the right side of the body. 


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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?
  Sometimes known as working dogs, guardian dogs were bred to guard homes, people and valuables, as well as livestock. While they might sound like a useful sort of dog to have around, these dog breeds are not for everyone. Large and reserved in nature, the guardian breeds are gentle with family and friends but fierce when provoked.

  Some, such as the Rottweiler and the Doberman, were bred to live closely with people as personal guards. Although their guarding instincts can work for you, they can also work against you if your dog is poorly bred, poorly socialized or untrained.
  Throughout history, one of the main jobs of the domesticated dog has been to protect its owners and guard against unwanted people or animals. While many modern dogs will instinctually act as home guardians, there are specific breeds that are known for possessing the characteristics needed to best ward off unwanted intruders.


1. Bullmastiff 
  A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper's dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he'll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives.
  Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed. 
  This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.
  The quiet and docile Bullmastiff is patient and gentle with friends and family, especially children. Bullmastiff's will, however, be protective and territorial. This breed can weigh 100 to 130 pounds. They have a low activity level, but needs socialization and training. The Bullmastiff does well with a family and can adjust to most living situations but may be too large for apartment life.
  As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.

2.Doberman Pinscher 
  All that you need to know about a Doberman’s instincts to protect its master is that they were originally bred to be dogs that accompanied a tax collector around as he made his rounds. Today, Dobermans are considered some of the very best guard dogs in all the world, with an aggressive nature that often makes them stereotyped as dogs that are harmful to strangers and children.
  If you're looking for the ultimate guard dog, the highly intelligent, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. This intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds.
  This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.
  In reality, Dobermans only ever attack on the command of their owner, having been bred to have great restraint and personal discipline, even in the face of a new threat. Over the years their ability to obey a command in a high-stress situation made them invaluable as military or police dogs, although they’ve become less used in recent years since they do not have the size or raw strength of some other large dog breeds.
  These are some of the smartest dogs out there, however, and an owner needs to carefully exercise their Doberman’s mind as well as its body to keep it fit, happy, and obedient to their commands, or else the dog will grow restless and end up chewing whatever’s in the vicinity.



  A dominant and loyal breed, the Giant Schnauzer is a high-energy dog that craves companionship and is quick to defend its humans. Just make sure you have enough time to give your Schnauz plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep it from getting bored and becoming destructive.
  These are dogs that  require strict training.  They need constant attention and need to know who is in charge otherwise they might take over.  Giant Schnauzers are powerful, compact, and intimidating.  But what makes them such exceptional guard dogs is their loyalty to their owners.
  A giant schnauzer can weigh as much as 100 pounds and the breed has been put to practical use for centuries as work dogs capable of helping farmers take their livestock to the market, helping to guard homes or buildings, and working with police to smell out narcotics or explosives. Their thick, shaggy coat has been grown out over the years in order to make them more difficult to grab onto, whether by an intruder or by another dog or by a bigger animal.

  With an intelligent disposition, furthermore, they grow bored easily and may be less interested in learning new tricks if the tricks do not change up. Any person interested in attaining a giant schnauzer for watching over their home needs to ensure that they are not left alone often, since their energy can lead to destructive behavior like chewing objects within the home. If properly trained and well-mannered, however, they have a calm demeanor even in the presence of new people, and that makes them very friendly and dependable.




  Don't let the friendly appearance of the Kuvasz fool you. This large, strong-willed herd dog is extremely protective and territorial. Even if you don't regularly need to defend your home against wolves or bears, the Kuvasz, who was bred to fend off animal predators, will fiercely guard your property.
 This breed is very territorial and has a strong instinct to guard its family and home. The Kuvasz tends to be aloof with strangers but craves affection from its family.  You need to train these guys from a very young age.  But they are most awesome when it comes to family protection.  Don’t mess with these guys.
   The owner has to be firm, confident and calm.  All family members need to learn how to handle the dog from puppyhood.  It is also important to stress that the Kuvasz does not respond well to harsh discipline – it must not be humiliated or confused with contradictory commands and rules.
  This overly protective dog breed will not let any harm happen to you or your property.  They are extremely loyal and devoted and would give their life for you.
  If you want your Kuvasz to work as a flock guard, remember that special training is needed and you might want to hire an expert to help you with the training.

  If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.
  The Akita is a dominant and independent dog breed that requires obedience training from puppyhood.  Although they are very affectionate towards their human family, they have strong guarding instincts and will not be friendly towards strangers.
  However, if someone tries to break into your house, be sure that the Akita will react and protect both you and your property.
  The Akita has to be firmly and properly trained from an early age and needs to be aware that humans are pack leaders.  The dog needs to understand the rules of behavior and follow them at all times.  If the dog becomes the alpha, the Akita will become willful, stubborn and aggressive.
  Akitas are extremely loyal and devoted pets that thrive on proper human leadership.  Apart from the training, Akitas need to be provided with enough daily exercise.  They become easily bored, so it’s important to keep them active.  They are not recommended for first time dog owners and inexperienced trainers.

Other guardian dog breeds include: 
  Those who don’t want to deal with the added responsibility of owning a guard dog but are looking for a dog to alert them of intruders should consider a watchdog. Several breeds are known for their persistent barking and ability to alert their owners and scare away trespassers.



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather

Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather
  Brrrr—it's cold outside!  The following guidelines will help you protect your dogs when the mercury dips.
  You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?
   Sometimes owners forget that their pets are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their animals outside for extended periods of time, thinking that all animals are adapted to live outdoors. This can put their pets in danger of serious illness. There are things you can do to keep your animal warm and safe.

 Keep pets indoors and warm
  Don't leave dogs  outdoors when the temperature drops. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.

   No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can easily become lost. Make sure your dog always wears ID tags. 

Take your animals for a winter check-up before winter kicks in. Your veterinarian can check to make sure they don't have any medical problems that will make them more vulnerable to the cold.

Some animals can remain outside safely longer in the winter than others. In some cases, it's just common sense: long-haired breeds like Huskies will do better in cold weather than short-haired breeds like Dachshunds.  Your pet's health will also affect how long she can stay out. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise a pet's ability to regulate her own body heat. Animals that are not generally in good health shouldn't be exposed to winter weather for a long period of time. Very young and very old animals are vulnerable to the cold as well. Regardless of their health, though, no pets should stay outside for unlimited amounts of time in freezing cold weather. If you have any questions about how long your pet should be out this winter, ask your veterinarian.

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. 

If you light a fire or plug in a space heater to keep your home toasty warm, remember that the heat will be as attractive to your pets as to you. As your dog  up to the warmth, keep an eye out to make sure that no tails or paws come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces. Pets can either burn themselves or knock a heat source over and put the entire household in danger.
Take precautions if your dog spends a lot of time outsideA dog  is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Never leave your dog 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. 

Be particularly gentle with elderly and arthritic pets during the winter. The cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender, and they may become more awkward than usual. Stay directly below these pets when they are climbing stairs or jumping onto furniture; consider modifying their environment to make it easier for them to get around. Make sure they have a thick, soft bed in a warm room for the chilly nights. Also, watch stiff and arthritic pets if you walk them outside; a bad slip on the ice could be very painful and cause a significant injury.

Give your pets plenty of water. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

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.

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. 

Avoid overfeeding your dog. While it is important to eat regularly and well during colder months, in order to keep up energy and warmth, with an indoor dog there is no need to increase the food amounts. Doing so can risk creating an overweight dog.

Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.

Hypothermia, or a body temperature that is below normal, is a condition that occurs when an animal is not able to keep her body temperature from falling below normal. It happens when animals spend too much time in cold temperatures, or when animals with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, animals will shiver and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, an animal's muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates will slow down, and she will stop responding to stimuli.

  Winter can be a beautiful time of year. It can be a dangerous time as well, but it certainly doesn't have to be. If you take some precautions, you and your pet can have a fabulous time taking in the icicles, the snow banks, and the warm, glowing fire at the end of the day.


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