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Preparing Your Dog for Omaha’s Chilly Season

Omaha’s winters can be harsh, with freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and icy sidewalks. While humans can bundle up in warm clothes, our furry companions need extra care to stay safe and comfortable during the colder months. Here’s a guide to help you winterize your dog and ensure they enjoy the season as much as you do:

Gear Up:

Coats and sweaters: Short-haired dogs and breeds sensitive to cold need a warm coat or sweater during walks and outdoor playtime. Choose a well-fitting, water-resistant coat that covers their body and belly.

Boots: Protect your dog’s paws from the cold, salt, and ice with booties. Opt for durable, waterproof boots with good traction to prevent slipping.

Bandanas and scarves: For extra protection, consider a stylish bandana or scarf to keep your dog’s neck warm.

Adjust Exercise Routine:

Shorter, more frequent walks: Instead of long walks in freezing temperatures, opt for shorter, more frequent outings to keep your dog active without getting too cold.

Indoor activities: Play fetch indoors, engage in interactive training sessions, or invest in a doggy treadmill for exercise on even the most frigid days.

Choose warmer times of day: If possible, schedule walks for the warmest part of the day, usually the afternoon.

Care for Paws and Skin:

Paw balm: Apply paw balm regularly to protect your dog’s paws from the harsh effects of salt and ice. Look for balms containing natural ingredients like shea butter and beeswax.

Wipe paws after walks: After each walk, wipe your dog’s paws with a damp cloth to remove salt, ice, and other irritants.

Avoid over-bathing: Frequent bathing can dry out your dog’s skin. Stick to a regular bathing schedule and use a gentle shampoo formulated for dogs.

Safety First:

Never leave your dog unattended outside: Even in a fenced yard, leaving your dog outside for extended periods can be dangerous in cold weather.

Be aware of frozen water bodies: Keep your dog on a leash near frozen ponds, lakes, or rivers to prevent accidents.

Watch for signs of hypothermia: If your dog shivers excessively, becomes lethargic, or seems weak, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Winterize Your Home:

Create a warm haven: Provide your dog with a comfortable bed in a draft-free area of your home.

Keep antifreeze and other harmful substances out of reach: Antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs. Ensure it’s stored securely and wipe up any spills immediately.

Keep your home humidified: Dry air can irritate your dog’s skin and respiratory system. Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Additional Tips:

Feed your dog a healthy diet: A nutritious diet provides the energy your dog needs to stay warm during the winter.

Keep your dog hydrated: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times, even when outdoors.

Schedule regular vet checkups: Take your dog to the vet for a checkup before winter arrives to ensure they are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccinations.

By following these tips, you can ensure your furry friend enjoys a safe, comfortable, and fun winter in Omaha. Remember, winter doesn’t have to be a drag for your dog. With a little preparation and care, you can both have a joyful and memorable season together.