Thursday, October 04, 2012

Winter Weather: How to Get your Lab Ready

Anyone living in a region where winters are cold needs to develop a routine to ensure their animal's safety. Even though dogs have fur and can handle some cold, they still need to be protected too! Naturally, preparing a Labrador for the cold winter will ensure their safety and happiness. Once developed, a winter routine will be easy for anyone to follow Here are five tips to get your lab ready for the winter!!

Shelter

Do not leave a lab outside in the winter without shelter. The cold suits some dogs, but most dogs will not enjoy the harsh winter weather. Indoor shelter can include the garage or the house - a dog house will not suffice. If, for some reason, your dog has to live outdoors, it will need a dog house with a heated bed. If a lab does not have adequate shelter during the winter, they will be uncomfortable and put in danger.

Feet

Do not overlook the feet! Consider foot protection booties even. This is especially valuable in icy areas. Not only will booties protect a lab's feet, they will also provide better grip, which will help prevent falls. For a lab to be comfortable, keeping their feet warm needs to be a priority. Keep in mind, some labs will not tolerate foot booties, and find a way to take them off.

Checking In

If a Labrador is outside for a few hours, or even in the garage, make sure the dog is okay. In cold weather, a dog can start to get sick or uncomfortable in a matter of minutes. If a lab becomes agitated by the cold, they will start barking desperately or shivering. Make sure to keep an eye out on the dog for any signs of frostbite and freezing.

Safety

During the winter, a dog needs to be safe from more than just the weather. Antifreeze is a big killer of dogs, so make sure there are no puddles of antifreeze in the yard or garage. In the house, make sure the dog is safe near the fireplace and heaters. In regards to snow, do not allow a dog to eat snow, there could be chemicals or other dangerous substances in the snow. Remember, during the winter water can freeze. Make sure the Labrador has plenty of water, and that the water does not freeze. A Labradors safety is dependent on the owner taking the right steps.

Exercise

It is crucial for a lab to get their exercise. A lot of dog owners neglect their dog's exercise habits, but this is a huge mistake. Remember, take the lab out for walks and to play games, even on cold days. On unseasonably warm days, take the lab to a park, so the dog can play with other dogs. Dogs need exercise year round and will otherwise suffer without exercise! If you can't provide this in the winter, perhaps you shouldn't have a dog. This is generally more true for younger and larger dogs, and less true for older and smaller dogs.

Anyone with a Labrador needs to have a winter routine to ensure their dogs health and safety. Keeping Labrador safe and healthy will ensure they are happy, while the owner will avoid large vet bills.

Winter Weather: How to Get your Lab Ready is a guest post by Emily Chase.

Emily Chase writes about weather, his pets & more at www.healthinsurancequotes.org.



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