The majority of the year in Florida provides warm, sunny days where you can frolic with your pup outdoors. While the state might not get as frigid as others up north, the winter chill can dip below what is comfortable for pets. At South Federal Animal Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we are here to share some timely tips for pet care. Following these strategies may help keep your pet warm and happy until spring arrives.
Provide Shelter from the Wind and Precipitation
The bright sunshine can make it look far warmer than it is outside once you factor in the wind chill. Not to mention, winter precipitation can be downright chilling, even with a furry coat. If your dog regularly spends time outside, then consider putting a doghouse where they can take shelter from the elements in case it gets extremely cold or starts to rain before you get back to the door to let them in. Even a couple of minutes out in the pouring rain could lead to problems with exposure when it is cold outside.
Use Leashes Around Frigid Bodies of Water
Ideally, you should always have your dog on a leash when they are out in public spaces, and even good swimmers shouldn’t be allowed in water without your supervision. However, dogs might somehow accidentally end up in frigid water. Whether your property has a pond or you are enjoying a game of fetch at the beach, you’ll want to remember that the water can still be incredibly cold when the outdoor air temperature feels comfortably warm. If your pet does fall into cold water, it may be a good idea to him to a veterinarian on our team to make sure they didn't sustain any harm.
Help Them Layer Up
People often assume that dogs are fine in cold weather because they have furry coats. While certain breeds can withstand substantially cold temperatures, some dogs in Florida have short, thinner hair that doesn’t provide as much protection. If you need a coat, then consider adding a sweater to your pup’s outdoor gear. They’ll not only stay warm, but they’ll also look adorable in all your holiday pictures.
Watch for Signs of Exposure
As a pet owner, you’re always alert for signs that something could be amiss with your pet. After they’ve been outside for a potty break, take a moment to look them over. Some dogs might temporarily shake as they warm up inside, but this shouldn’t take long to stop. Dogs that have discolorations on their paws, nose or ears could have frostbite. A dog that seems strangely lethargic could also be suffering from hypothermia and may need to see the veterinarian.
Get More Winter Care Tips from a Veterinarian on Our Team
Are you still curious about how to protect your pet during the winter in Florida? Call us today at our South Federal Animal Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to learn more about cold weather pet care. Call us at (954) 523-8527.