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Just FoR Today: Six winter dog care myths and facts

If you can do just one thing just FoR today (FoR as in “Fidose of Reality”) to change your dog’s life, how paw-tastic would that be?

We’ve been discussing different things here on Fidose of Reality that take seconds or minutes but can make a huge difference in a dog’s health, well-being, and life in general.

Just FoR today, February 23, 2012: What are some of the most common winter care myths about dogs?

Myth: A dog’s pads protect them from all elements of weather.

Fact: Though a dog’s pads contain much fatty tissue that does not freeze as easily as other tissues, protection against scuffing, scraping, cutting, and ice damage is crucial in winter months. Ice cubes and “snowballing” may occur in the delicate areas between toes and pads. Protective booties or a product like Musher’s Secret, which is used on sledding dogs, can help ease extreme conditions on sensitive pads. Safe and Natural Made from a blend of several food-grade waxes, then refined according to our our own special formulations, Musher’s Secret is the safe, non-toxic way to protect your dog’s paws.   The semi-permeable shield is absorbed into the paws, allowing perspiration to escape through the toes. Made from 100% natural waxes.


Myth: Unlike summertime where a car acts as a greenhouse and can cause harm and even death to pets, a pet is safer in a car during winter months.

Fact: Pets can freeze to death even in a short period of time. Cars act as a refrigerator in cold months. A dog alone in a car, no matter the season, is a target for thieves.

 

Myth: Coats are for show and really do not keep pets warm in the winter months since animals have a natural fur coat.

Fact: Dogs and cats get cold, particularly short-haired breeds,  senior citizens, puppies, and pets with medical conditions. Look for an insulated sweater with a turtleneck, that covers the belly, and that allows for protection from neck to tip of tail.

 

Myth: Though a humidifier may help people, it does not do much for our pets during winter heating season.

Fact: Dry air in the home can make pets itchier, cause dry noses, upper respiratory infections, more dander, and dry throats. Consider a humidifier, talk to the veterinarian about skin conditioners and fatty acid supplements for healthy skin.

 

Myth: Dogs do not absorb antifreeze or harmful chemicals on walks through their paws.

Fact: A dog’s pads are more resilient than other parts of his body, but chemicals can be absorbed through them. In turn, chemicals like antifreeze can be licked by dogs and cause severe problems. Wipe dog pads off thoroughly after a walk, perhaps using some warm water and a washcloth to melt any ice balls that may have formed on the feet.

 

Myth: All ice melts are created equal.

Fact: Not all ice melts are formulated to keep pets safe. Pet-safe ice melts like Morton Safe-T-Pet are salt- and chloride-free, which is safer on pet paws and stomachs. Never use a human grade ice melt, and always sprinkle Safe-T-Pet on sidewalks; do not pile product and risk Fido or Fluffy’s health. Visit mortonmelters.com.

 

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