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SEPTEMBER, 2016

You might feel like hibernating this winter, but your pet still needs to be active. There are plenty of ways to entertain and enjoy your pet in the colder months. Do you think you’re already a winter pet pro? Check out these fun winter dog facts while waiting for your hot cocoa to heat up.

True or False?
Some dog breeds turn white in the winter months to provide better camouflage.

The answer here is false. While some arctic animals do have lighter fur color tones in the winter months to help blend in, domestic dog breeds don’t change colors when the mercury drops. Even so, many breeds who are best suited for winter weather often have fur designed to camouflage in winter conditions. For example, the Siberian Husky, Norwegian Elk Hound and the Keeshond all have off white fur with spots of dark gray. This color combination helps the breed hide in fresh or dirtied snow. Other breeds particularly suited to colder temperatures include Akitas, Bearded Collies, the Saint Bernard and the Great Pyrenees.

Dog in the snow

Be sure to watch your furry friends during the winter months.

True or False?
Dogs hate snow.

This is also false. And while it may be true that you’d rather keep your toes away from the cold wet stuff, let’s face facts; dogs need exercise no matter what the weather is like outside. A great way to get winter play time in is to give into the fluff and embrace your inner child. If you have a dog who loves to fetch balls in the warmer months, try tossing a snowball for your pooch. If it’s caught in midair the surprise of a disappearing ball will humor your pet for sure. If the snowball comes apart on the fly, it will be like watching him seek a needle in the haystack while he seeks for a single snowball in a field of snow. If you don’t have a retriever just dance in the fluffy stuff with your dog and make up your own game.

True of False?
Dogs can get dehydrated in the winter.

This fact is true. While you don’t have to worry about things like overheating, exhaustion or heat stroke in the winter, you still need to make sure you provide adequate hydration during outdoor walks or playtime when it’s cold. Something else to think about? Allowing your dog to drink from puddles along the winter wonderland trails is probably not a good idea. These puddles likely have de-icing salt or other anti freezing agents in them used in nearby machinery or on the trail itself. Ingesting these chemicals is not only dangerous, but could also dehydrate your pet further. Instead, try carrying a thermos of room temperature water with you.

True or False?
Dogs need lip balm in the winter.

Believe it or not, this one is true as well. Well, it’s kind of true. Humans often use lip balm when venturing out in the winter to keep their lips from becoming dry and cracking due to wind chill. For those same reasons your dog also needs a Vaseline (petroleum) based product in the winter. The difference is that your dog doesn’t need the product for his lips. Instead, the pup needs you to rub the product on the pads of his feet. This is true even if you have a short haired friend who doesn’t spend much time outside in the winter. The salt dries the pads of their paws, then the delicate skin can split and even bleed. Imagine having to walk around on that! Instead, keep those puppy paws moisturized with a little Vaseline. This is a great bonding activity too!

True or False?
Dog coats are just for fashion.

This one is mostly false. While some retailers do sell dog costs that do little more than make your dog look precious, many shops also offer coats that can help your pet tackle the colder more efficiently. When shopping for an effective coat aim for one that is quilted to trap in the animal’s natural body heat. Also keep an eye out for materials that repel water. Finally, avoid coats with cute buttons. If they come off they can become a choke hazard, and they sere no practical purpose. Opt for a zipper or Velcro instead.

Winter months can be a lot of fun for you and your furry friends.

Whether or not you were surprised by the answers to this true or false quiz, you’ll agree that winter can be full of fun for you and your pets. Just use some common sense, and know that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for Fido.

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