Cold weather health hazards can often make you and your pet unable to enjoy winter to its fullest.
Don’t worry though, you can set aside lots of inconveniences by looking into pet health-related information. Which, to be honest, should be any Atlanta dog walker’s autumn plan.
Winter makes us think of cold weather and freezing limbs. Well, we can do our best to make sure your pets feel safe and warm.
Be Careful With Winter-Related Conditions
If your dog has a health condition, you treat it accordingly. But besides the usual preoccupation for your pup’s health, you have to check if winter means extra care or more vet appointments.
The conditions we’re referring to are:
The latter is the most encountered one as it affects the tissues in limbs, ears or tail. When your pup is suffering from frostbite, you can tell by the occurrence of:
- Discolored skin (gray, pale or red areas beneath the fur).
Normally, you can check your dog by yourself.
For the other conditions on the list, you’ll need vet advice.
Lethargy and shivering signal hypothermia, whereas intolerance to cold and mobility issues stand for hypothyroidism and arthritis, respectively.
Look out for Chemicals Used during Winter
The roads are large and full of potentially harmful chemicals. This is not good news for an Atlanta dog walker as dog walks are less frequent during winter anyway.
During these scarce breaths of fresh air, your pet walks on concrete full of ice melters and salt. Now, the ice melting chemicals in these products could be:
- Potassium chloride
- Magnesium chloride
- Calcium carbonate
- Calcium magnesium acetate
If your dog licks its paws after a wintry outdoor stroll, symptoms like nausea, vomiting or hyper-salivation will likely occur.
If you own a car, make sure you don’t let antifreeze anywhere near your dog. It contains ethylene glycol which is toxic when ingested. You might switch to propylene glycol-based antifreeze instead.
Mind you, these chemicals are sweet and tasty for pets. So make sure you clean the paws and stomach areas right after coming back home, no matter what.
Grooming Tips for an Atlanta Dog Walker
Wintertime also means small adjustments need to be made to your pet’s grooming routine:
- Paws need to be examined much more often. Look for potential cracks, accumulated dirt or irritation. Foot balms for pets could be a good idea to prevent such issues.
- Nails need to be trimmed more frequently due to your dog having more contact with smooth surfaces.
- Don’t shave their fur too often.
- After bathing at home, your dog’s fur must be completely dry.
Apart from these safety measures, it’s obvious an Atlanta dog walker should pay extra attention to wintertime walks. If the weather allows it and the sun is shining, you can spend as much time as you wish.
Other than that, keep the dogs on a leash, as they might get lost more easily and you’ll also avoid accidents on slippery roads this way.
You could also focus on special winter training. Obedience commands are necessary in situations like loose leash walking on dangerous roads. Recall commands that help with keeping them away from frozen water are also vital.
Not sure if you have time to master these commands? Consider hiring a professional dog walker.
No matter what, the comfort of your four-legged friend comes first for us. Our Buckhead pet walkers are here to assist whenever necessary – even in the cold times.
Mark Shaver has owned Buckhead Paws since 2012, and is an active member of Pet Sitters International. Previously, he was a senior executive with three multinational corporations.