Winter Care

cdtWinter Care and Safety Tips for Your Coton

As Temperatures Drop, Keep Your Coton Safe with these Winter Care and Safety Tips for Your Coton.

Many people mistakenly think that with fur coats, dogs are in a great position to handle cold weather – but that isn’t exactly the case. While some breeds can handle colder temperatures longer than others, the truth is that your Coton should not stay outside very long in temperatures lower than about 40 F. Puppies, Cotons with short Puppy Cut, senior Cotons and Cotons with health problems can be particularly vulnerable at colder temperatures, so take extra care to keep these pets warm and dry.

Just like humans, dogs can suffer cold-weather dangers such as frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration. So as the days shorten and the temperatures get colder, please be aware of the following winter care and safety tips for your Coton! It could save his or her life!

Winter Care and Safety Tips for Cotons: Staying Warm

Make sure your Coton has a warm, non-drafty, off-the-floor place to sleep and rest, along with a cozy blanket. Of course most of our Cotons are normally snuggled up close to us keeping us warm.   If your Coton needs to be outside for prolonged periods of time make sure they have a coat or a sweater that covers the neck, chest and belly. There are also dog booties that can protect his or her paws from the snow and ice. If they are in the cold for too long, dogs can suffer from frostbite on their ears, tail or paws. If this happens, warm up the affected areas for at least 20 minutes and contact your veteranian for further instructions. If your pet is shivering, lethargic, has a slow heartbeat or breathing, hypothermia may be underway. This requires emergency vet care, so call immediately while you do everything you can to warm up your dog!

Dehydration—an Unexpected Danger of Winter

Dogs and people can get dehydrated in the winter just as they can in the summer if they don’t get enough water to drink.  Always make sure your Coton has access to fresh, liquid drinking water at all times, no matter what the weather.

Cotons also need some extra calories if they are out and about in cold weather (especially from protein) to maintain a healthy body temperature.

Don’t Get Lost!

Another of our very important winter care and safety tips for your dog is to make sure to keep him or her on a leash at all times. The ASPCA says that more dogs get lost during the winter than any other season! This is because dogs, even with their amazing noses, can lose their scent in the cold and snow, making them more likely to lose their way home. If we get a big snowstorm and the snow piles up along your fence, it may create a hill or stairway for your dog to climb, so make sure there is no way for your dog to get out of the yard either. Also make sure your dog has updated ID tags, or better yet, a microchip.

Avoid Poisoning! Garage Hazards

Antifreeze, automobile liquids and or gardening supplies are stored in our garages sometimes and is highly dangerous to our Cotons.  Make absolutely sure that any bottles of automobile liquids or gardening supplies are out of reach. Antifreeze is particularly dangerous.  Check your garage often to make sure there are no puddles of it lying around on the floor. It smells good and tastes sweet, but is a deadly poison that can kill your pet. This is an absolutely critical winter safety tip for your dog!

To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please following advice from experts:

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes.
  • Long-haired dogs are prone to have clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin.
  • During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends’ exposure to such agents.” Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals-and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. The salts and chemicals used to melt ice and snow on the roads and sidewalks can burn and irritate your dog’s paw pads and skin. These can also make your dog sick if he or she licks them off.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. It is recommended to use a quality moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry.
  • Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws.
  • Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure they plenty of water to drink will help to keep them well-hydrated, and their skin less dry.

Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your Coton.  Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops.