Beagles For Dummies
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Keeping your Beagle happy, healthy, and comfortable in all seasons isn't hard to do. The Snoopy-dog is a hardy soul, and a few adjustments are all that's needed to keep her in tip-top condition all year round, especially during the winter.

Caring for dry skin and paws

The winter-time Beagle may experience the same cold-weather phenomenon as the winter-time human: dry, flaky skin. But while human beings can slather on moisturizers and lotions to combat the dryness, your Beagle's dry skin may need treatment from within. Make sure your dog gets plenty of water, and talk with your veterinarian about adding fatty acid supplements to her diet.

We humans have lots of shoes and boots with which to cover our feet during the winter, but dogs generally have the dubious pleasure of walking barefoot over snow and ice. Be considerate of your Beagle. If she's running outside in the snow, make sure you remove any snow or ice that's accumulated between her toes after she gets inside. Leaving those little ice balls intact can spread your Beagle's toes in a most uncomfortable fashion.

During the winter, your considerate neighbors may sprinkle rock salt on their sidewalks to make them less slippery. But while that salt helps keep you upright, it causes your Beagle's sensitive paw pads to dry out and burn. When you and your pooch walk outside during snow season, try to avoid walking her over salted surfaces. If you can't avoid those surfaces, thoroughly rinse your Beagle's feet with warm water when you come back inside.

Bundling up Beagle

Does your Beagle need a sweater to keep her toasty warm during the winter? Probably not, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't appreciate a little help staying warm during those cold winter walks. Pet stores and upscale pet clothing catalogs abound with sweaters and coats to protect Beagles and other canine snow-bunnies (how's that for a contradiction in terms?) from the ravages of harsh winter weather.

How do you know which size is right for your Beagle? First, stretch a tape measure from the base of her neck to the base of her tail. This is her top line measurement. Then, measure her chest by wrapping the tape measure around her trunk at the widest point, just behind her front legs. Those two measurements can help you determine your Beagle's clothing size. Generally, Beagles wear a medium — but as with so many other issues, your mileage may vary.

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Susan McCullough is the author of the bestselling Housetraining For Dummies and the award-winning Senior Dogs For Dummies.

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