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Winter safety for your dogs

Posted January 15, 2014 in Advice Column, Downtown

Brrr, it is cold outside! Winter has definitely arrived in Iowa. It can be a “ruff” time of year for your pet, so there are many precautions you can take to ensure your pooch stays warm and safe. Here are some tips to get through the winter season.
• More dogs are lost during the winter than any other season. Dogs can lose their scent and get lost easily. Always keep your dog on a leash during a snowstorm and make sure it is wearing ID tags.
• Always wipe down your pup’s paws, legs and belly after being out in the snow. He can collect salt and other dangerous chemicals on his paws and coat.
• Never leave your dog in a car during cold weather. Vehicles act like a cooler in the winter and hold in the cold temperatures.
• Do not leave your dog outside for extended periods of time. All dogs are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, and some breeds are at greater risk.
• Never shave your pooch’s coat down to the skin during the winter. Your dog needs his coat to keep properly insulated.
• Shelter is extremely important. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts.
• Be cautious if you walk or play with your dog near frozen rivers, ponds or lakes. Your dog could slip or break through the ice and get seriously injured.

Follow these tips and winter can be a “furtastic” season to enjoy time with your pooch.

Information provided by Carrie Bonnett, owner, Downtown Doggy Daycare, 724 Scott St., Des Moines, 288-0957.

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