Veterinarian says preparation is essential in keeping dogs safe during the winter

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Some dogs, like some humans, aren’t big fans of the cold.

“(Frankie) does not like cold,” says Diamond Quaye of North Liberty. “It’s a process to get him outside.”

Quaye takes his dog Frankie out with four boots and a sweater, but he knows when the Mini Pinscher Chow Chow mix wants to come back in.

“He looks up and then starts crying,” Quaye said. “you can see his pulling (the leash) because he wants to go back in.”

Frankie is well-prepared, and Dr. Greg Winterowd at Linn Animal Hospital says that’s key.

“if it’s too cold for us out there good chance it’s too cold for them”

Dr Winterowd says dog owners should always supervise their dogs, and keep an eye on their paws and ears.

“The eartips will be most sensitive, it’ll be a sharp line,” Winterowd said. “The whole tip will turn black.”

But even more important is to look at those paws before going out in the cold.

“What do they look like? Are they soft? Are they smooth? Are they thickened? Are they cracked?” Winterowd. “Look at them now and look in a couple days if they’re limping on them see if there’s any change.”

He also says, when it comes to fur, looks can be deceiving. Even dogs with thick coats aren’t always acclimated to the cold.

“You have to watch,” Winterowd said. Especially our young dogs that might over do it and make poor choices.”

With Frankie by his side, Quaye’s advice is to not be afraid over overpreparing and over-pampering.

“He also has a heated blanket when he comes in,” Quaye said. “He’s very spoiled.”