Three Things You Need To Know About Dogs And Subfreezing Weather

If you've added a canine companion into your household, you're probably concerned about what you can do to provide your furry friend with the best possible quality of life. However, those who live in areas that experience subfreezing temperatures in winter may assume that dogs are immune to the negative effects of cold weather because of their fur. Although it's true that some breeds are better suited for seasonal temperature drops, all dogs require protection during the winter. The following are three things you need to know about dogs and subfreezing weather. 

Your Dog May Require Less Food in Winter

Chances are good that winter weather conditions combined with a decrease in daylight hours will curtail your outdoor activity level, which means that you may be taking your dog on less frequent and shorter walks. Decreasing your dog's food intake will help prevent the animal from becoming overweight and experiencing health issues such as cardiovascular problems and canine diabetes and a result. However, it's important to consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog's diet.

Your Dog May Need to Wear Booties Outdoors

Many people believe that booties on dogs look silly or pretentious, but they actually serve a very good purpose. They help protect your pet's feet when you take them for walks outdoors. Even though dogs have tough, protective pads on the bottoms of their feet, shards of ice, tiny bits of gravel, and other small particles can easily become lodged in the cracks and crevices surrounding the individual pads. Furthermore, chemical deicers are often distributed on the streets to help vehicles retain traction during snow and ice events, and these can wreak havoc on the bottoms of canine feet.

Your Dog May Experience a Decreased Sense of Smell During Cold Weather

No one likes the thought of their furry friend getting loose and running off, but this type of accident, unfortunately, can happen even when owners practice utmost care. Dogs are often able to find their way back home by following their own scent in a reverse direction once the excitement of being loose and exploring new territory wears off. However, dogs lose a significant amount of their sense of smell when temperatures are below freezing, and your furry friend may not be able to find their way home so easily during the depths of winter. If you haven't already had your pet microchipped, now is a good time to make an appointment with your veterinarian to have this procedure performed. For more information, contact a company like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.