« The day is cloudy and the wind is bold. Dress up warmly, you mustn't get cold!
Put on your coat and zip it up tight, put on your left boot, put on your right.
Put on your scarf and put on your hat, put on your mittens and clap-clap-clap!
Go outside and play and play. »
Here's one in many song that remind to childrens to acquire good habit when they play outside during the winter. But would you have thought of applying it to your dog?
Indeed, although some breeds of dogs such as huskies and other northern dogs are more resistant to cold temperatures, the majority of our pets, especially those with short hair are not well adapt for our Quebec winters. Thus, it may be beneficial to buy them a light coat to avoid minor frostbite and succumb to hypothermia.
Similarly, regardless of the breed, there is a common area to all and very vulnerable during this time of year : the paw pads. They are prone to frostbite, irritation by salt used to melt snow on the ice breaks, etc. While many minor injuries can heal quite easily, some more severe may require further and long term care ; hydrotherapy, changing bandages, medication, strict rest of varying duration and surgery.
Wearing boots is an easy way to avoid these complications! Several models and sizes are available to properly fit the size of your dog's paws. You can even make your own out of old socks and Velcro. This gives very suitable "boots" and lower costs.
Finally, there are also salt for melting snow less damaging to their pads. This could be a good buy if you put salt on your driveway and on your property.
Amelie Goupil, veterinarian
In collaboration with Catherine Lapierre, Certified Veterinary Technician