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Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #34
December 09, 2013
Brrr...It's Getting Chilly!
For many of our readers all over the world, the weather is turning towards the cold side. For some, this may even mean some snow. Growing up, we lived in a very snowy area and one of the most dreaded tasks in the winter was walking our dog. In fact, most of the fights between my sister and I revolved around morning dog walking duty. “It’s your turn”, she would yell”. Nooooo, it’s your turn, I would yell back”. After about 15 minutes of this my Mom would exasperatingly join into the scream fest, “I can’t believe I let you two have a dog”!! Inevitably, she would blindly assign one of us the task and that person would sigh heavily, complain about how life was so unfair and then grumpily go get the leash and start the process of getting all the winter gear on. Perhaps the worst part about the task was trying to get our dog into a knitted sweater that was lovingly made by my grandmother. The last thing in the world the dog wanted to wear was that sweater and in fact as soon as she would see it she would take off running. Chasing the dog around the house and sequestering her wiggling body and squeezing her into a tight sweater was a task upon itself. Hopefully the dog walking assignments in your household are not as fraught with such terror! Unfortunately I can’t send my mother as a referee, but here are some tips to help your winter go smoothly for you and your Jack.
The cold weather can be hard on pets. Jacks who are mainly indoors can become accustomed to the warmth of a house.
• Don't leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your Jack's body temperature, and limit its time outdoors. And yes, sweaters are appropriate if your Jack will wear them.
• Adequate shelter is a necessity. Keep your dog warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.
• Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get seriously injured.
• Feed your Jack additional calories if he spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, especially if your Jack shivers in the cold.
• Towel or blow-dry your Jack if he gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean his paws, too. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking.
• Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal.
• Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your dog's feet after a walk.
• Provide plenty of fresh water. Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer. Snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water.
• Frostbite is your dog's winter hazard. To prevent frostbite on his ears, tail and feet, don't leave your dog outdoors for too long.
• Be very careful of supplemental heat sources. Fireplaces and portable heaters can severely burn your Jack. Make sure all fireplaces have screens, and keep portable heaters out of reach.
• Like people, dogs seem to be more susceptible to illness in the winter. Take your dog to a veterinarian if you see any suspicious symptoms.
Keep your Jack safe and warm this winter! And if you have any cute photos of your Jack in his or her winter gear, please send them to use, we are suckers for a cute picture of a dog in a sweater.
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'Til Next Time...
Take care - and take care of your JRT!
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