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Cold Weather Advice for Goldens

For those of us that live in the Mid-Atlantic (or any other location) which is susceptible to cold temperatures and snowy conditions during winter, there are a few health and safety concerns of which you should be aware. These tips were compiled from ASPCA, Humane Society and other articles so I want to give them appropriate credit.

Madeline enjoys her first snow!

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your golden, so keep him/her inside. If left outdoors, you golden can become frostbitten, freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. (ASPCA General Pet Care)

  • Clean any salt and chemicals off your dog. If your dogs play or walk outside during wet and snowy winter conditions, be sure to give them a thorough rub-down with a clean towel before they come inside. Dogs can easily ingest antifreeze, salt, and other chemicals by licking it off of their feet and legs (and on your shoes as well). Salt and chemicals will also irritate their skin if left alone for too long.

  • Never leave your dog outside alone. If your dog is going to play outside in freezing temperatures, you should always be nearby to monitor his condition and bring him inside when he gets too cold.

Penelope in her finest winter parka!

Never have your dog shaved down in the winter. Your golden retriever’s long fur helps keep him/her warm in freezing temperatures.

  • If you bathe your dog in the winter, be sure he/she is completely dry before going outside. You can also skip baths altogether in the winter, unless your dog has fleas or has rolled in something stinky.

  • Don’t leave your dog alone in the car during the winter. A car acts just like a refrigerator in cold temperatures, and before long, your car will actually be colder than the air outside, causing your dog to freeze to death.

  • Pay special attention to puppies and older dogs. They may not tolerate to cold as well and should be carefully monitored. It may also be difficult to house-train a puppy during the winter months. Instead, consider paper-training until nicer weather sets in.

  • If your dogs are active, increase their food intake. Active dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors will burn a lot of calories. Providing extra, high quality dog food will help them perform their best while staying in tip-top condition.

  • Clean up antifreeze spills immediately. This lethal poison should be cleaned up immediately in the event of a spill. Instead of the highly toxic ethylene glycol, consider using a product with propylene glycol instead.

  • Make sure your dog has a warm place to sleep. A cozy dog bed is a

perfect spot for a snooze, just be sure to keep it away from drafts.

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