Tips on Caring for your Bulldog in the Winter
Bulldogs are very sensitive to extreme heat and cold. We know that when the weather is hot, our Bullies should only be out for short amounts of time, the same goes for the winter. Ensure that your Bulldog does not stay unattended outside for long periods of time when the temperature drops.
1. Bundle Your Dog Up
Sure, some dog owners prefer to use boots and winter dog clothing on their dogs to go outside, but you wouldn’t want to go out in a blizzard in a light spring jacket. Make sure small, delicate, and short-haired dogs, even Bulldogs, have an appropriate winter wardrobe. Bonus: You can have fun dressing them up.
2. Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Look at the sled-dog teams, and you’ll notice that their paws are covered by booties. Mushers know that the race may be lost because of injuries and abrasions from running on ice. Even if your dog isn’t dashing through 1,000 miles of frozen Alaskan wilderness, winter conditions can still do damage. Different retailers offer dog boots or paw protectors that work well to keep your pup’s feet safe. Check out Pura paw balm on the
AKC Shop website.
3. Clean Your Dog’s Feet
City streets are coated with deicing substances, such as sodium chloride (rock salt) and calcium chloride, which make sidewalks safe for pedestrians, but can damage paw pads. Use Pet friendly ice melter/salt on your sidewalks to help with this. Make sure you wash off your dog’s feet. Some people keep a bucket next to the door to rinse their dog’s feet as soon as they come in from the cold. Use warm water and make sure to reach spots between the toes and pads. Some dogs will also need a moisturizer for their paws.
Learn how to make your own paw balm for the winter here.
4. Limit Dog’s Time Outside
Dogs can suffer from frostbite, especially on delicate ear flaps and tail tips. In extreme cold, it’s a good idea to keep dogs inside, with the exception of the heavy-coated northern breeds that thrive in low temperatures. If it’s not possible to keep the dogs indoors, be aware of the major signs of frostbite, which include skin that appears white or blue. Anything below freezing is too cold. Keep in mind that wind chills can lower actual temperature readings. Bulldogs can be out in above freezing weather for about as long as fifteen minutes for a short walk without it harming them. Dogs may also lick their paws after a walk. Every time you come inside with your dog you should dry his feet thoroughly with a towel to be sure he has not tracked in any dangerous chemicals. Also check him over for any injuries to the paws: cracks, cuts, or scrapes. These kinds of injuries can cause pain and lameness.
5. Stay In
Even a big fuzzy dog that lives indoors will need some time to acclimate to freezing temperatures. I am sure many of you who already have the pleasure of a Bully know just how hard it is to even get them outside during the nicest of days :). Short romps outside will help your dog’s body get used to the change in the weather. Keep indoor activities fun with these ideas.
6. Consider Your Dog’s Age
Where climate is concerned, age is more than a number. Like humans, very young and very old dogs have a hard time regulating body temperature, so they have more extreme reactions to changes in weather. Romps in the snow may be too much for their more delicate constitutions. Keep the oldsters and the puppies indoors as much as possible.
7. Keep your pet hydrated
Winter is dry, so please ensure that your dog has plenty of water available. If your dog has an outdoor water dish, please ensure that it is not a metal one. Just think of sticking your tongue to a metal pole in the winter!
8. Beware of Winter Hazards
Antifreeze is a common cold weather poison but not the only one to be aware of: road salt and rodent poisons are also used with greater frequency during this time of year. Even if you don’t use any of those products, an unsupervised pet could easily wander into a neighbor’s yard and find them.
9. Don’t leave your dog inside of a parked car
This rule is also important during the summer; a parked car can quickly amplify the effects of extreme weather. During the winter it can act as an icebox and trap cold air inside.
Reference American Kennel Club www.AKC.org