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Winter weather is here, and pet parents everywhere are layering clothing, pulling out snow boots, and weatherproofing their vehicles. As temperatures drop, pups require special care and attention to stay healthy, safe, and warm—but who knew there were so many ways to care for our furry friends?

Lucky for us, dog care experts at Dogtopia, who specialize in dog daycare and boarding, have rounded up five winter tips for caring for our smallest and furriest member of the family.

Keeping your furry friend warm – Pet parents must be mindful that pups feel the chills as much as we do during winters. Hypothermia can happen when dogs are exposed to severe cold for extended periods of time and fur and skin remains wet and cold. Some common signs to watch out for are lethargy, paleness, and shivering.

Your pup needs an extra layer like you – More often than not, winter clothing can go a long way in keeping your pup warm when out for a stroll. In fact, many benefit from an extra layer of protection when temperatures are frigid. However, an extra layer can sometimes do more harm than good. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check with an expert before wrapping up your doggo. 

Check paws often – Check your pup’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. Icy walkways are slippery and offer less traction, while rock salt can cause irritation. Check pads of feet for debris after every walk and wipe them down with a warm, wet cloth inside. Also, reduce the chance of ice ball buildup by clipping the hair between your pup’s toes.

Do not leave your pup in the car – Just as is it’s not a good idea to leave your pup inside the car for extended periods during summer months, leaving them in the vehicle during winters can cause hypothermia. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to take your pup inside while running errands, a better idea is to leave them at home where they’re safe and secure.

Keep them away from hazardous chemicals – Because of its pleasant and sweet aroma, antifreeze can attract pets as well as children. It’s important you keep these and other household chemicals out of reach during colder months.

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