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3 Tips for Keeping Your Handicapped Pet Safe in Winter

Derrick Campana

You love your pet, not despite the fact that they are not "perfect" but because of it! As much as you think your furry friend is the best thing ever, you recognize that the winter months provide a few additional challenges. It's cold! It's icy! It's wet and slippery! Cold weather pet care is an important part of winter safety, especially for senior and handicapped pets. That doesn't mean you need to keep them locked in the house for months on end. Here are a few simple ways that you can keep your beloved pet safe this winter.

#1 Protect their paws.

It is very important to protect the paws of any pet dealing with mobility loss or paralysis. You see, many paralyzed pets have a difficult time regulating their temperature and suffer circulation issues. This means your dog’s paws are incredibly sensitive to the cold. Ice and snow can become trapped in between your dog’s pads and toes. If you think this sounds painful, you're right! To protect your dog’s feet on winter walks, your dog should always wear boots or socks. If possible, find some that provide additional traction on icy walks with a drawstring at the top to help keep out snow and ice. If your pup has a wheelchair, consider swapping their wheels for skis to help keep them active. How fun!

#2 Limit their exposure to freezing temperatures.

They don't mind the cold, because they're wearing a fur coat- right? Not exactly. Even breeds who love cold weather, like a Husky or Saint Bernard, shouldn’t be left outside for extended periods. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from frostbite or even hypothermia. On especially cold days, keep outside visits brief. A few signs your dog is too cold include shivering, whining, lifting their paws off the ground, hunching over, a reluctance to walk, and walking slower than usual. Always watch your dog for any behavioral cues of discomfort. Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog.

#3 Pay special attention to senior dogs.

Older dogs, just like people, have a more difficult time adjusting to cold weather. As they get older, they struggle with regulating their body temperature. Senior pets suffering from canine arthritis or hip dysplasia suffer further since these conditions are aggravated by the cold. Adding a daily joint supplement can help to lubricate the joints and help to ease any discomfort. Keep your senior pets warm by limiting their outside time and giving them a warm place to rest when they come back in.

Remember, Bionic Pets is here to help!

If you still need the care items to make it possible for your dog to walk comfortably, now is the time to order them. This includes braces and prosthetics. You can tell your dog it's a Christmas gift- the gift of mobility, comfort, and care!