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Winterizing Your Dog

It's beginning to get cooler and as such it is also time to plan for all your outside animals' safety. As with all mammals, the winter months pose a particular disadvantage -most especially to those outside pets many of us have.

Below, you'll find a few tips to help you get ready for the winter months and to help your pet in the transition from fall to winter.

First, store all antifreeze type products safely out of the way of any animal. When using antifreeze, be careful concerning spills and wipe up any amounts quickly and completely. The sweet taste and smell is hard to pass up for any pet.Next, keep all indoor pets in an area free of draft. Elevating you pets favorite bedding area is one way to help your pet stay warm.Keep all your outdoor pets in an insulated type area, free of drafts, that is warm and dry and protects the pet from the wind. In extreme conditions, bring the animal(s) indoors to protect it from the elements.

Always maintain a good supply of clean, fresh, and unfrozen, drinking water.Remove ice, mud, salt and any other irritants from your pets coat ASAP. If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Feeding requirements change drastically in the winter months- caloric needs may even increase to help the animal stay warm. Ask your veterinarian for further advice concerning caloric needs. Also during the holidays, be careful to keep your pet away from alcoholic beverages, chocolate, fish and poultry bones.

Many holiday plants are toxic to your pets. Keep these out of the reach of your pet.Keep tinsel, glass ornaments and other holiday decorations out of your pets reach. Place all electrical cords in out of the way spots.Remember that cats and kittens or your dogs may sleep unbderneath your car. Before leaving always knock on the hood, honk the horn lightly and wait a few minutes before starting the engine.

Article written and reprinted with permission of: Dogs, Puppies and Dog Breeders - "Your New Best Friend"

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Debbie Ray, owner of: is a lifetime dog lover and owner and breeder of german shepherd dogs for over 15 years.

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