Enjoy a guest post by Paige Johnson on preparing your dog for hazardous weather.

Dog Hazard PreparednessWhen you are a first-time dog owner, odds are you haven’t had the time to consider everything your pup is going to need. Extreme weather is alarming for people, let alone a dog. As your new dog’s guardian, it is your job to keep him safe and calm. Many dogs become nervous around unfamiliar weather and may end up endangering themselves. There are a few ways you can prepare your dog for hazardous weather.

Know the Breed

Each breed of dog has different levels of resiliency to heat, dampness, and cold. Even if your dog is a mixed breed, you should make yourself aware of your dog’s tolerances. If you have a small dog, particularly a Chihuahua, your dog may be susceptible to all weather and will require protection from heat, cold, and dampness.

You also should learn your dog’s specific preferences. Some dogs are indifferent to thunder, while others panic as soon as they hear the first rumble. You need to prepare to handle both your dog’s mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing during a thunderstorm.

Buy Supplies in Advance

It can be difficult to predict what your dog will need during times of severe weather. However, you should do your best to be well prepared. Some recommended precautions include rain jackets, waterproof boots, paw protectors, first aid kits, winter coats or vests, and a Thundershirt if your dog is fearful of severe conditions.

When the weather heats up, you must consider your dog’s paw pads when taking him onto concrete, macadam, or stone. If you can’t handle walking barefoot on the sidewalk or street, it’s too hot for your dog. This is when pad protectors come into play. Some dogs also are prone to sunburn. On the other hand, when the weather turns cold, your dog will need boots and a garment to keep his core warm. For smaller dogs, you may need to invest in a full snow suit to protect their delicate body temperatures.

Keep Up With Training

A poorly trained dog is far more likely to bolt when alarming weather occurs. This puts him in danger and you at risk of never finding your beloved pet again. Make sure your dog obeys your commands regardless of circumstances and can be recalled if he is running away from you. You might want to consider professional dog training courses if you aren’t having success.

Have a Plan

For emergency situations such as flooding or tornadoes, you should have a plan in place that includes your pet’s needs. Including your pet in emergency response practices can be a part of his training. If he knows what to expect in the event of an emergency, he is more likely to remain calm. For example, in case your neighborhood is hit by a big storm, you should teach your dog a command that means he should hunker down in safe shelter and wait for you to tell him it’s safe to leave. Of course, you’ll also need to teach him the safest place to go under these circumstances.

Preparing your family for any extreme weather is stressful enough. Bringing a new dog into the mix can make things even more difficult, as you may not know how best to cope with your dog’s needs. The primary focus is keeping him mentally and physically safe from the weather with supplies and training.

Consult with a dog trainer and visit a quality pet store so that you can rest assured that your pet will be safe no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.

Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoy writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org

image via Pixabay by Hans

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