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Five Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Snow

Walking dogs is a great way to get exercise while appreciating the frozen terrain. However, it’s important for dog owners to pay attention to common wintertime hazards. And with most of the United States currently under a deep freeze, I thought I would share these helpful tips!1381955_31947046

Here are five easy ways to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe on every dog walk this winter.

1. Look for Signs of Exposure
Smaller breeds with less fur are more susceptible to cold weather, but the AAHA  recommends that all pet owners look for the following signs of exposure while walking dogs in cold temperatures:

  • Whining
  • Shivering
  • Appearing anxious
  • Slowing down
  • Stopping movement
  • Looking for places to burrow

If you notice any of these signs, return indoors immediately. As a general rule, it’s good practice to remember that if you’re cold, your dog is too!

2. Always Use a Leash
According to the APDT, more dogs are lost in the winter than in any other season. Use a leash when walking a dog in the winter as unleashed dogs may run onto semi-frozen lakes or ponds.
3.  Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Dogs are just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as they are in the summer, according to the AKC. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water before and after walking a dog walk during the winter season. Keep in mind that snow is not a suitable alternative to fresh water.
4. Be Aware of Chemicals
Sidewalks and driveways are frequently topped with chemicals like antifreeze and ice melters throughout the winter. These chemicals can get onto dogs’ feet and cause abrasions. Dogs may also lick chemicals off their feet, resulting in stomach problems.Consider dressing your dog in booties when going on a walk. If your dog will not wear booties, use a warm cloth to wipe their paws immediately after you return from a walk. ASPCA also suggests Musher’s Secret as an alternative to booties. The waxy substance can be applied to your dog’s paws and will protect toes and paw pads outdoors.

5. Check for Frostbite
A dog’s footpads, nose, ear tips, and tail are at the highest risk for frostbite during the winter, according to PetMD. After each walk, check these points on your dog for frostbite. Frostbitten skin will stay pale and cold — even after being inside. The skin may also swell and turn red. Always consult a veterinarian if you believe your dog has frostbite.Preparing for these common cold-weather hazards can help you create a safe and pleasant walk for your pup, even as the temperatures drop.

Stay warm!

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7 Insane (But True) Things About Turkeys

Turkeys know their names, come when you call, and are totally affectionate. They’re better than teenagers.” Elayne Boosler

45 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving (22 million are eaten each Christmas and 19 million are eaten each Easter as well), but how much do you really know about turkeys? Here are 6 interesting facts about turkeys and be sure to share with your friends and family!

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1. Turkeys are very playful animals. Tom Savage, poultry scientist and animal science professor at Oregon State University, observed that if you throw an apple to a group of turkeys, they will play with it together, almost as though it were a football.

2. Turkeys form strong social bonds with their family and flock mates. In the wild they sometimes travel in groups of 200 or more. When a turkey is removed from her group, she becomes distressed and calls to her flockmates until she is reunited with them.

3. Baby turkeys, called poults, eat berries, seeds and insects, while adults have a more varied diet that can include acorns and even small reptiles.

4. Benjamin Franklin never proposed the turkey as a symbol for America, but he did once praise them as being “a much more respectable bird” than the bald eagle.

5. A wild turkey’s home territory often exceeds 1,000 acres. Turkeys have an incredible knack for remembering locations. They have been known to recall a location they’ve visited only once. They can remember where they found food the year before and will return to the same spot in search of a meal.

6. Male turkey siblings go out courting females together. The siblings display their plumage alongside each other to attract potential mates. Only the dominant brother, however, will mate with interested females.

7. Turkeys make a complex range of sounds. When they want to gather their family group, they make an urgent-sounding call. When a turkey is alarmed, she uses a special “putt,” sound, and every bird in the flock looks up with apprehension. Sometimes a mother will use a “cackle” when entering or leaving a roost to prompt her brood to follow. Turkeys even make a cat-like purr when they are feeling content.