886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Enjoy Winter Walks with Your Dog

1/15/2018

Enjoy Winter Walks with Your Dog

 

It has only officially been winter for a few weeks, yet we have already experienced brutal cold in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bone-chilling temperatures are enough to make anyone want to hibernate until spring. However, you know that’s not possible when you have a dog because he still needs a daily walk. If you don’t walk with your dog daily already, consider making this a habit now that we’re officially in National Walk Your Dog Month.

Bundling up to head outside in January may not sound like much fun to you, but consider how important it is to your dog. When dogs don’t get enough exercise, they still need to release their pent-up energy somehow. This could result in your dog making a mess in the house by chewing up the furniture, knocking over valuables, and even eliminating indoors. A lack of exercise is often behind a dog who suddenly develop separation anxiety as well.

Benefits of Walking with Your Dog Every Day
It's no secret that both people and their pets are getting bigger all the time, thanks in large part to a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, Minnesota and Wisconsin are both top contenders for having the greatest number of obese dogs in the country. While our harsh winters are partly to blame, daily walks are part of the deal when adopting a dog. Your dog misses out on many benefits when you skip it, including your complete attention, social interaction with other people and dogs, and greater confidence in new situaitons. Additionally, regular exercise helps to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of several diseases.
 
Walking every day is just as good for you. By walking just 30 minutes each day, you reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and depression, particularly of the seasonal variety. As long as both you and your dog bundle up, you can walk outdoors during all but the most severe winter weather conditions.
 
Safety Tips for Walking with Your Dog in the Winter
Although daily walking has many benefits in all types of weather, you do need to take some extra safety precautions in the winter. For example, cover your dog’s paws with booties to protect them from extreme cold as well as road salt and other chemicals. We recommend that you trim the fur between each of your dog’s toes regularly to keep ice, salt, and chemicals from sticking to his paw pads. 
 
Make sure that your dog doesn’t get too far ahead of you and slip on a pile of ice. She could easily fall through or injure herself in another way. Lastly, head home at the first sign of possible frostbite or hypothermia. These could include xcessive shivering, anxiety, whining, increased panting, confusion and disorientation, and trying to sit down while you’re out walking.
 
If your dog does sustain an injury or you’re concerned he has caught a cold-related illness, don’t hesitate to contact us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474. 
 
 
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Keep Pet Safety in Mind When Celebrating This New Year's Eve

12/19/2017
Celebrating New Years Eve
 
It doesn’t seem possible that we will turn the calendar from 2017 to 2018 in a matter of days. Whether you celebrate on New Year’s Eve or not, it’s important to take precautions if you have a pet. You could spend the evening reading a book and your dog or cat could still become anxious by the next-door neighbor lighting off fireworks. 
 
Like all holidays, New Year’s Eve is confusing from a pet’s point of view. It’s noisy, there’s strangers in the house, and there’s all these curious things like party hats, confetti, and noisemakers. We hope the following tips will help the furry members of your household have a safe and happy new year.
 
Don’t Let Your Pet Be a Party Animal
Even shy dogs and cats are bound to feel curious about what’s going on if you host a party on December 31. However, the best place for pets is far away from the party crowd in a bedroom or other room where you can close the door. Preferably, it won’t have windows that your pet can look out and become even more anxious by what might be going on outside. Be sure to stock the room with her favorite toys, bedding material, regular food, and enough water to get through the evening comfortably.
 
Loud and Unexpected Noises Can Heighten Your Pet’s Anxiety
While you and your guests might enjoy blowing and swinging noisemakers before and after midnight, these sounds can cause your pet extreme anxiety. The same is true of fireworks. Since you can’t control whether other people light them off, keeping your pet in another room with soft, relaxing music playing is your best bet. Just be sure to peak in often to offer comfort and praise your dog or cat for good behavior. 
 
Giving Alcohol to Pets is Not a Joke
People sometimes act in unexpected ways after having a bit to drink and may find it amusing to give beer, wine, or another type of alcoholic beverage to your dog or cat. However, this isn’t funny at all. Alcohol is toxic to pets, even in small doses. If you think this could happen at your party, let your guests know that you won’t tolerate it. You should also keep all alcoholic beverages out of your pet’s reach.
 
Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper Identification
Anxious or overly excited pets may still find a way to run out of the house while your attention is elsewhere on New Year’s Eve. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we recommend that you get a microchip for your dog or cat if you don’t already have one. It’s good to have a tag and collar, but they can come loose or stuck on a fence. When your pet has a microchip, anyone who finds him can take him to the nearest animal shelter or veterinary clinic. The staff will scan your pet, discover the microchip, and obtain your contact information.
 
The staff at both of our clinics wish you and your pet a happy and healthy 2018. Thank you for allowing us to serve you in 2017.

Photo Credit: master1305 / Getty Images

 
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