Weimaraners and weather
No Place Like Home
No matter what the weather, the best way to ensure comfort and safety of your Weimaraner is to keep him/her where you are comfortable and safe – in your house. As pets spend more time indoors, other issues may arise. Many pets who aren’t used to being indoors may not know the rules and demonstrate normal, but destructive, behaviors such as chewing and clawing. Therefore, make sure you keep house plants and valuables out of reach. Pets with access to the outdoors during warm weather may also bring in unwanted guests – fleas. And a change in seasons usually brings with it a change in coat. Regular brushing can reduce the amount of pet hair on your rugs and furniture.
Summer heat puts extra stress on your Weimaraner’s body. Because of this, it’s best to keep him/her inside where there is access to shade, water and cool air whether from open windows or air conditioning.
If your pet is outside during the day, make sure he has a shady area, preferably on grass since pavement tends to heat up in warm weather. Check at different times to make sure the area is shaded all day. Weimaraner coats may burn in the summer – we recommend a baby-safe sunscreen to avoid the coat getting sunburned. Also, the pads of the feet may burn on hot pavement. If you plan on having your Weim out in the summer heat, we suggest you look into protective boots. If it is too hot for you to be barefoot, it is too hot for your Weimaraner to have their paws unprotected.
You will need to provide extra water in summer. Try larger water containers, or special devices that attach to an easy to reach faucet for unlimited access. If your Weimaraner is used to running errands with you in your car, leave it home during hot summer days. Even with the windows cracked, your car can reach 130 degrees inside in less than 30 minutes. Don’t risk giving your pet heat stroke!
The best way to treat overheating is prevention. However, if you notice that your pet has abnormally rapid breathing, tremors, muscle weakness, vomiting, or fainting, your pet may have heat exhaustion. Wet your pet with cool – not cold – water, place in an area with a breeze, and transport your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
Cold weather also brings special care requirements for your pets. Again, the ideal place for your pets in cold weather is indoors where they have shelter from cold temperatures, drifting snow, and ice. If your Weim is outdoors in the winter, please provide a waterproof coat for him/her. We can show you several different types including where to go to (inexpensively) get one custom made. Ours are Goretex and flannel. Consider an electric bowl heater to keep water from freezing outdoors. If you take your pet outside in snowy or icy weather, be sure to check its paws for cuts or ice balls. After walking on pavement treated with salt or chemical snow removers, wipe your pet’s paws with a damp cloth. Again, paw protection is readily available and recommend in extreme conditions.
Other Winter Concerns
Antifreeze (containing ethylene glycol) poses a special danger to pets in winter. Both dogs and cats are attracted by the sweet taste, and mere teaspoonfuls can cause kidney damage or death. If you keep cars and pets in your garage, be sure your radiator does not leak. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment within two to four hours can save some pets.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is another potential problem for pets kept in the garage with vehicles during winter months. Never start your car and let it warm up in the garage unless you remove your pet during this time.