Featured Post: 10 Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy This Winter

Today we had a special guest write us a post for our Blog. Tim Pink is the owner of Saratoga Dog Walker and was kind enough to write us a few tips on how to keep your canine friends healthy and active in the very sedentary time of winter.

dog-on-walkLife in the Northeast presents many challenges in the winter when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your beloved dog. Here are 10 tips to help keep your dog safe and healthy this winter.

#1 – Make sure your dog isn’t left outside (or in a car) for too long and keep an eye on his body temperate. Remember, the wind chill will make it even colder and dogs can also get frostbite. Keep a close eye on their ears and paws as they are most susceptible. If your dog starts walking funny, lifting his paws, or hunching over than it’s time to get him inside!

#2 – Use jackets. Depending on your dog’s coat and the amount of time you plan to spend outside he may need an additional jacket. They make jackets for all occasions but the best jackets will cover the chest, be water resistant and tight fitting, easy to put on and off, and have a reflective material.

#3 – Mushers Secret. This stuff is great for paws! It’s a wax based product that helps shield their paws from harmful salt and extreme cold. Always a good idea to wipe and clean off your dog’s paws after a walk so he doesn’t lick any salt that might be stuck on them.

#4 – Keep your dog well groomed. Your dog’s coat will perform its best when it’s well groomed. Extra fur and matting will not help its insulating properties. Also, be sure to trim the fur on his paws so snow doesn’t build up on them as this can be painful and debilitating to dogs.

winter dog walk

#5 – Salmon Oil and water. The lack of moisture in the air may leave your dog’s skin dry and flaky. To help your dog have healthier skin in the winter give him salmon oil. It’s healthy and he will love it! Don’t mix it in his dinner though, or he may start to demand it all the time. Also, just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your dog can’t get dehydrated. As always, make sure he always has fresh water available.

#6 – Be careful playing with your dog near ice. When playing on ice your dog could easily slip and injure himself (ACL etc.), cut his pad, or fall through the ice into a lake etc. Stick to areas that you know and steer clear of ice!

#7 – Holiday dangers. The holidays present a slew of new dangers for your dog. Take a moment to think of all the new things around your house that your dog could get into. Things like the tree (needles, tinsel, ornaments, lights), extension cords, gifts (for people or your dog), holiday nick knacks, as well asholly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants which are pet poisons. As a rule of thumb if your dog can get to it, assume he will and take the necessary steps to avoid tragedy. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the alcohol and chocolates out of reach!

#8 – Antifreeze. Dogs tend to be attracted to the smell and taste of antifreeze but it is highly toxic! Be sure not to leave any around and promptly clean up any puddles.

#9 – Extra food. If your dog spends much time outside in the winter he will probably need more food in order to keep his body temperature up. It takes more calories to keep warm, and the last thing you want is for your dog to lose weight in the winter.

#10 – Exercise! Keep your dog healthy physically and mentally by maintaining his exercise schedule through the winter. Tis the season for dog’s to start “acting up”. This is because they tend to get much less exercise in the winter which leads to excess energy and boredom. If you’re unable or unwilling to walk your dog in the winter call a professional dog walking service.

Well we hope that helps, if you’re curious about Tim and Saratoga Dog Walker, make sure to check him out at the link above, or if you’re in the Saratoga area, you can reach him at 518-390-8613.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

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Preparing Your Pup for a Winter Walk

I feel like it’s safe to say that dogs love winter more than humans. With winter approaching it is important for you to take care of your pup before and after any outdoor activities. We all love nicely plowed roads and sidewalks, but with that luxury comes a build-up of salt. The salt can cause your pups paws to dry out, and in turn creates them to crack and be sore. In order to prevent any injury, here are some precautions you can take prior to your adventure.

Doggie Boots- if you can convince your dog to actually wear these things, than all power to you. Most dogs can’t stand them.
Oil- Here is a fun fact. If you gently rub oil on your pups paws before a winter adventure, it will prevent snow from forming ice balls between their paws. Since water and oil don’t mix, it makes sense! Types of oils to use: baby, olive, vegetable

 

Visit a Groomer- Keep the hair between your dog’s toes and pads clipped short. When hair is left too long around these areas, you get these dreaded painful ice balls that form. While you’re at the groomers, it wouldn’t hurt to get a nice nail trim. Long nails can cause your dog to walk on the back-end of their feet. In turn, this causes their toes to spread, which in turn leaves more room for ice balls to form!

BEWARE OF THE ICE BALLS they are the WORST!
The above tips should definitely help make your outside adventure last longer and it also will make it more enjoyable. However the work is not over. Proper care for your pup once you get inside after your walk is just as important.

Tip#1

Gently dip your pet’s paws into a bowl of warm water or use a warm washcloth to remove any excess salt build up. This will help prevent your pet’s paws from getting chapped.

Tip #2

Don’t assume that your pets fur coat is thick enough to keep them warm from any weather condition! It’s not. If you notice a wet coat after a walk, take a blow dryer to their coat to keep them dry and warm. Depending on the dog, of course, you could also invest in a pretty sweater or coat to maximize warmth and comfort.

As always make sure your pet as plenty of fresh water. Hope you and your pet have a fun winter season!

 

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on !

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