Nesbitt's Nook - Cold Weather Tips PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Nesbitt   
Monday, 21 February 2011 15:19

Eva the Norwich is incredibility results oriented.  Take her out to do her business - and voila - results.  Pearl, our Norfolk, on the other hand is more leisurely.  She typically needs a paper and some quiet time before having a 'movement'.

However, with the -35 degree cold snap that hit South Western Ontario at the end of January – Pearl found her groove.  I’ve never seen Pearl go to the bathroom that quickly!   Needless to say, papa (and Sister Eva) were very pleased with her sudden motivation.

Even though we were outside for a short duration (minutes) – I noticed that Eva would get shivers due to the cold.  So we took the time to investigate cold weather pet protection – and wanted to pass along a few tips in this edition of the Natter:

  • Jackets:  More than just a fashion statement, a dog jacket keeps the body warm.  When a pet shivers, it means the blood is flowing away from the body to other areas (feet, paws, etc...) in an attempt to keep those other areas comfortable.  A jacket ensures the body stays warm and mitigates the risk of cold weather shakes.
  • Paws and Ears:  When dogs lift their paws, they are cold.  Be aware of this and take precaution. Pearl typically `tri-pods`` if she gets her feet wet in slush and then walks through snow.  If this happens, lift them up and use your hand to warm their paws.
  • Dog Condition: Older dogs as well as puppies should not be exposed to the cold for very long.  Ensure to adjust your walking schedule based on the condition and age of your dog.
  • Frost Bite:  Tissues that freeze due to Frost bite, die.  Watch the tips of ears, tails, face, food pads, legs and male genitalia.
  • Paw Protection:  Boots or waxes protect the dog’s paws so cracking and chafing doesn’t occur.
  • Winter Hazards:  Salt, Antifreeze and other chemicals are prevalent especially in the cities and suburbs. At times, Tania and I lift Eva and Pearl if we notice these types of hazards.  At the very least, ensure the dogs don’t consume the chemicals.  They can be deadly.
  • Wipe Down:  Clean up the paws to remove chemicals, ice and snow from the dog when you return home.
  • Water:  Dogs may love the water, but when it is cold out and they decide to take a swim this could prove disastrous.  Keep your dogs on leash so they don’t get into trouble in this regard.
  • Cars:  Don’t leave your dogs in car unattended.  The car acts like a fridge in the winter (just as it acts as an easy bake oven in the summer).

Here are a number of sites available online that discussion keeping your pets safe and warm during the winter months.  Remember, a Norfolk or Norwich should never be left outside.  They aren't huskies.  Take the time to read up on the subject to prevent issues during the cold weather.  This will ensure our little friends remain happy and healthy during the great season of winter.

About the Author: Jeff and his wife Tania live in Kitchener, Ontario with Eva The Norwich and Pearl The Norfolk. Jeff is an outdoor enthusiast and works to give back through his work and community involvement. For more information on Jeff, please visit his website at:


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