A winter’s day in my part of the world, East Coast of Florida, is often scoffed at. We have our lower temperatures, in the teens or below? No. But then we are not prepared for that, and neither are our animals.
As I was leaving the post office last week a woman in shorts and a t-shirt jokingly told me to take off my coat, saying it was too pretty a day.(The temperature was in the high 50s).
The request was barely out of her mouth when she stated, “You live here don’t you?” My response, “Yes, and you don’t” as I looked at her choice of clothing for they day. Did I NEED the jacket? Maybe not. Was I comfortable? Definitely. These same considerations should be applied to our pets.
You don’t want to overdress, and thereby overheat your dog, but if he’s chilly, and especially if your pup is a short-haired dog, a sweater may be appreciated. So far my dogs have not needed clothing, though as a knitter I have checked out a couple of patterns and even considered converting an old sweater into a dog vest. (There’s a pinterest link below for a neat way to make a pooch sweater)
Folks in the north, or those traveling with their dogs in the north, have more to worry about than ice and snow. Something far more dangerous to your pet – the chemicals and salt used to remove the ice and snow.
So if you live in an area where you have to melt the ice and snow, or are traveling to an area like this, it is important to be aware of where your dog is walking. A Florida dog is probably not going to want to walk on the snow and will stick to the treated sidewalk and roads.
5 Tips before you take your dog outside:
- Put a small pan of water (one the dog could step into) and a towel by the door into the house.
- Wash and dry your pup’s paws before you go back into the house.
- Do not let your dog lick his paws. If he starts paying attention to his paws instead of what he is outside to do, wash them immediately, the chemicals are probably burning the pads of his paws.
- You do not want him licking his paws and ingesting the chemicals or salt. These are toxic and can do permanent harm, or even be fatal, to your dog.
- If you pup wears a coat/sweater, make sure it fits. Once you are back inside, remove it immediately or supervise your dog while he has it on.
Dogs are fun to watch outside, but remember, boundaries all look the same when everything is covered in snow. Keep them on a leash or in a fenced in area and have fun!
Need a quick sweater for your pooch? I found this easy-to-follow pattern on Pinterest