Dogs need special care during winter

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Riley, a cocker spaniel , who recently turned 10 years old.

Some dogs are made for the winter. Huskies have heavy fur and tough paws which allow them to handle these harsh conditions with no problem. But some dogs do not have the same luxuries, which makes winter tough.

“We take him on walks which sucks in the winter time,” said Joey’s Pet Outfitters employee Krystal Witt.

Dogs routinely need to go outside for multiple reasons from walking to using the restroom. Going outside without the proper attire could be damaging to the dog.

When going on walks, some dogs should wear dog boots according to Dr. Marty Becker, writer for vetstreet.com. Dog boots will protect dog’s paws from abrasions from running on ice. Also, when walking on sidewalks, they are usually covered in rock salt which can damage paw pads.

“There are multiple items you could get to protect your dog’s paws in the winter,” said Joey’s Pet Outfitters owner Mark Marquardt. “But the boots are by far the best way to go. They offer a rubber sole like our tennis shoes which offers great protection.”

They might look weird on your pup’s paws at first and they might walk funny at first, but with time the boots will be normal.

“At first my dog was not a fan of the boots we got for him,” said dog owner Daniel Baker. “But with time, he adapted to them and now he runs with them on like its normal. And it makes me a lot happier and more willing to take him out knowing he’s safe.”

For some dogs, their fur coats are enough for these below freezing temperatures.

“He has a lot of fur right now since it’s so cold outside,” said Witt.

But some dogs do not have the luxury of having a good amount of fur to keep them warm. That is why many owners have invested in winter jackets for their companions.  

“I have two pit bulls they don’t have thick hair,” said Marquardt. “They do not like going outside unless they have their coat on. They enjoy staying warm.”

When left outside for too long, dogs can suffer from frostbite, especially in sensitive areas like earflaps and tail tips. A winter jacket can be just as vital to a dog as it is to its owner.

“It doesn’t hurt to have a winter coat for them,” said Marquardt. “It just offers that extra protection from the cold for them.”

Dogs are a major part it today’s society. Many know at a very young age that they want a dog, and once that dog enters their life it is a part of the family.

“My dog is my baby,” said Witt. “He does everything with me, we’ve traveled around the country with him.”

Which is why the health and safety of man’s best friend is taken so seriously.

“Here at Joey’s we like to think of people’s pets as their kids,” said Marquardt. “You do anything you need to do to keep your kids happy and healthy and to give them an enriched life.”

Riley, a cocker spaniel , who recently turned 10 years old.

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