We raise Doodle puppies — including Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, and Aussiedoodles — in Arkansas. While we don’t deal with freezing cold and winter storms in Arkansas very often, they do occur from time to time. It’s important to prepare for winter storms to keep your family safe; this includes thinking about your family pets. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe in cold weather.
Food and water
People don’t always think of dehydration in cold weather, but you can get dehydrated any time of the year, regardless of the temperature.
Water bowls can freeze over, preventing dogs from getting the water they need to stay hydrated. Make sure that your dog has plenty of clean water.
Also be sure to give your pet plenty of food in cold weather, as maintaining a regular body temperature requires extra calories.
Deicing solutions and salt helps prevent slips, falls, and spinning tires, but they can also collect on your dog’s paws. These deicers can make your pet sick if he licks his paws clean after an icy walk outside.
Be sure to trim the fur between the pads of your dog’s fur; this can help reduce the ice buildup on his paws. Also consider using a pet-safe non-toxic deicing solution.
Regularly examine the pads on your dog’s paws if they are walking around in snow and ice. Extreme cold can lead to cracking and bleeding.
Dogs aren’t immune to cold weather
The longer and thicker your dog’s coat, the better he can handle cold temperatures. Don’t let those fur coats fool you, though; dogs can’t stay in sub-freezing temperatures for extended periods of time.
Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, just like people.
Make sure your dog has place to stay warm and dry in cold weather. Consider bringing your dogs indoors. If you don’t allow dogs in your house, convert a mudroom or garage into a safe space for your dogs.
Canine cabin fever
Your dog might get restless indoors, especially if he is used to spending lots of time outside. Dogs need to be physically active every day, so find creative ways to play with your dog indoors, or bundle up and brave the cold.
Your dog might enjoy romping in the snow, playing fetch, or taking walks around the neighborhood.
Prepare for emergencies
It’s wise to put together an emergency kit just in case of power outages, frozen pipes, or car trouble when you’re away from home — don’t forget your dog! Make sure you’ve got your pets covered with your disaster readiness kit; pack extra blankets, food, and water for your dog.
Use this CDC emergency kit checklist to help you make sure that you have everything you need.
Also make sure that your dog has a collar and identification tag on at all times. It’s easier for dogs to get lost in snowy weather, and a collar and ID tag allows others to help your dog find his way home.