Winter myths busted

MYTH 1: MY DOG’S TOUGH— HE DOESN’T NEED A COAT
1 Doggy coats and jackets only exist to part fashionistas and their pampered pooches from their money, right? Wrong.
“Dogs with short fur will benefit from a warm coat when they go outdoors,” Dr Karen says. “There are tons of options
out there nowadays, from hoodies to puff y vests to argyle sweaters.”

If you live in an area that uses salt on icy roads and footpaths, your pooch’s little feet can also be hurt or irritated by the salt. Avoid those areas or wash your dog’s feet off after a walk. You can even get booties for dogs to protect their feet in rough conditions.

MYTH 2: MY DOG HAS THICK FUR SO SHE CAN STAY OUTSIDE ALL WINTER LONG
2 It’s the coldest night of the year and temperatures are set to drop below zero. You wouldn’t consider stepping foot outside yourself without 10 layers of clothing and four beanies, but you’re happy to leave your dog outside in the chill all night long.
However, just because your pet has a thick covering of fur doesn’t mean she won’t feel the cold.

“It’s kind of like if you
were wearing a thick fur coat in the cold; you are going to feel warmer than you would in a T-shirt, but you still wouldn’t
want to stay outside all night like that,” Dr Karen says.

She also points out that dogs’ ears, tails, noses and feet aren’t very well protected and they could be at risk of frostbite. Just like humans, frostbite for dogs is intensely painful and, in extreme cases, permanent damage and tissue loss may occur.

MYTH 3: MY DOG NEEDS TO EAT HEAPS MORE TO HELP HIM COPE WITH THE COLD
3 Do you fill your dog’s bowl to the brim during winter because he needs more chow to “protect him from the cold”? While there is some truth to the view that dogs sometimes need to eat more in winter, that’s no reason to start fattening your pooch up.

MYTH 4: IT’S SAFE TO LEAVE MY DOG LOCKED IN A CAR
6 “It’s never safe to lock your dog in the car unsupervised, even in cool weather,” Dr Karen says.“Dogs will figure out a way
to injure themselves.

They can tangle themselves up in leads or seat belts or they can cause damage to your car.”Overheating is also still a risk in many parts of Australia, even during the depths of winter, so don’t even think about leaving your pooch in a locked car.

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