Saturday, December 4, 2010

Caring For Your Dog In The Cold

I've heard too many people say that animals are fine outdoors because they're....animals.  This is NOT true for domesticated animals.  If you live in Minnesota and it's 30 degrees below zero with a wind chill, that's TOO COLD to leave your dog outside.

I personally don't believe in leaving animals outside all the time, but I understand that many people do. If you do leave your dog outside,  please be sure to provide them with what they need to survive.
Providing a dog house cuts the wind, but in the heart of winter I think it is too cold to leave Fido outside.  In that "in between" season when temps can drop but then warm up, be sure you're providing water for FiFi. It's imperative that you provide it in a bowl that the water doesn't freeze in.  Check out this bowl, with an average rating of 5 (out of 5) by people who own it. K&H 96-Ounce Thermal-Bowl Outdoor Pet Feeder, Blue

The breed of dog you have also makes a difference as to how much cold your dog can stand.  When my Golden Retriever Jake was alive, he loved the cold and snow.  He would lay down and roll around in the snow.  Contrast that with my Olde English Bulldog, Jes, she can't get 'her business' completed quickly enough to come back in.  The difference?  Their coats.  Jake had long, thick fur - and two coats of it.  Yep, Golden Retrievers have two coats of fur.  Conversely, Jes has short hair.  Imagine how cold your head would be if you had a haircut like a marine and you'll understand why Jes needs more than her natural coat to keep her warm.

Jake always loved going for walks in the winter.  But his paws would get dry and crack.  I learned that was from the salt they used to melt the ice on the roads.  That's horrible for a dogs paws.  If your dog wants to go for walks during the winter, be sure you wash their paws when you come in.  And, just like you wouldn't run your hands under hot water after exposing them to freezing temperatures, don't run your dog's paws under water that is too hot.

I bought Jake some booties, but he hated them!  On the other hand, Jes loves her coat. When she needs to go out, she goes to the door and waits for her coat to be put on her. I've heard of people who had to train their dogs to allow them to put a coat on.  Not the case with Jes.  She loves her coat! So if you've had a dog before that didn't like booties or a coat that doesn't mean another dog won't.

I know some people think that clothes for dogs are stupid.  And I must admit, before I got Jes, I thought a sweater on a dog was just a fashion statement or silly women going overboard with their "purse dogs." Now I'm embarrassed by that thinking because  having a short-haired dog for the first time I realize that, just like people, different size dogs need different things.

Educate yourself on what your breed needs and provide accordingly.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby Gate Works Great As Puppy Gate For Half The Price

Do you, or someone you know, need a puppy gate? Why not try a baby gate instead? Baby gates seem to be much less expensive that puppy gates and can be just as effective.

Check out this screen-grab of a search for "puppy gate" with costs of $80 and $200!

There's no need to pay that much.  Check out this review of a baby gate used as a puppy gate.