Beardie, it’s Cold Outside!

This article appeared in the Bagpipes in January 2007.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that experiences a warm or mild winter, you probably don’t need to read any further. However, if your socks and floors are wet from the dogs tracking in snow, I recommend you continue reading. Our Beardies may be covered in fur, but they are still exposed to the harsh conditions of winter. It’s January, and that means two more months of winter and a perfect time to pass along some cold weather safety tips for you and your Beardies. Cold weather, ice and snow can bring a wide variety of concerns for a responsible dog owner. To assure your Beardie stays healthy and safe through the long winter months, follow the guidelines listed below:

You probably don’t need to be reminded, but….. Use caution around frozen ponds, lakes and creeks. If your dog jumps or slips in frigid water his body temperature will drop quickly resulting in hypothermia. Woodstoves, fireplaces and portable heaters can cause severe burns or start a house fire. One swish of a Beardie tail can lead to disaster! Dogs don’t catch colds, so if you notice your Beardie is coughing, sneezing or has a runny nose, the culprit may be low humidity in your home. The same holds true for itching and dry skin. Low humidity levels are common during the winter, and may be the cause of dehydration and irritations to skin and mucous membranes in the eyes, nose and throat. A healthy pet will tolerate winter stress much better than an unhealthy one, so talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you may have.

The following items are available to help you winterize your Beardie:

Stay safe and warm, and remember, only two more months until mud spring!