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Your pet dog needs to be taken care of appropriately this winter. You and I can express our feelings if we feel too cold or warm. Since our winter dogs can’t do that, you need to understand his capability to tolerate the cold and treat it accordingly. Here are a few tips to keep your precious pets warm when it’s cold outside.
1. Preventing health risks caused by the cold
There are some key parts of winter dogs’ body which should be given special care of as they are more vulnerable to the cold. Taking care of these key areas might take a little extra work for the owners but they’re absolutely worth it.
- Get Your Dog Some Pawwear – Some dog owners might find any sort of clothing on dogs to be ‘pretentious’. However, they have practical uses. Dog boots for snow play an important part in keeping their paws safe from the cold because their paws are prone to frostbite. Dog boots that stay on not only protect your dog from coming in direct contact with cold surfaces such as ice or snow; it also prevents them from rubbing their pads raw on harsh surfaces. Therefore, footwear is an essential gear to consider when it comes to protecting your winter dog.
- Adjust Their Routine – Your dog’s tail and ears are also prone to frostbite. You can change up the routine and walk your dog strictly during the day when there’s a little warmth from the sun. To satisfy your dog’s exercise needs, you should do more home activities.
- Don’t Risk Hypothermia – Just like humans, dogs may also suffer from hypothermia when exposed to the cold for a long time. Hypothermia is caused when animals spend extended hours in extreme temperatures or get wet in the cold. So you also need to limit the time your dog spends outside.
2. Dietary adjustments for winter dogs
As your winter dogs will be going through a few activity changes, their food intake should also change accordingly to prevent other illnesses.
- Adjust the Calorie Intake – Dogs usually have high energy levels but drastic changes can be seen when the weather changes. Some dogs become more lethargic while others enjoy the cold and are more active. It is important for you to monitor your dog’s behavior and adjust its food intake accordingly. This will prevent your pet from becoming overweight and any other health issue which might stem from it.
- Keep Them Hydrated – You need to monitor your dog’s water intake, especially if it stays and plays outside. Sometimes the cold may cause the water in your dog’s water bowl to freeze. So check up on that from time to time and break the ice – literally! Ensure that your dog has a ready source of water at all times.
3. Protect your dog from heaters during the cold
Dogs usually look for heat sources during the winter and might cuddle up against a heater. However, they do not understand how hot these surfaces can get, and therefore are at risk of getting burned. You should make these areas inaccessible. You can place their crate or bed at a distance to make that transition safe and comfortable.
4. Apply proper pet skin care
Humans are not the only ones that face skin disasters as the seasons change! A dog’s body goes through many changes too as the external weather conditions change. So we must take extra care of the dog’s skin as we would take care of our skin during winter.
- Keep Your Dog Moisturized – This might sound a tad bit funny at first but yes, it is important for a dog’s skin to stay moisturized. During the winter, their skin can become dry and flaky, so in order to deal with this, you can add supplements that help with your dog’s skin and fur in its food. Furthermore, you should look into natural topical moisturizers, such as coconut oil, which is safe for dogs. But consult with a vet regarding which products your furry friend should switch to according to its skin’s needs.
- Grooming Your Dog – It is important to take care of your dog’s main protection against the cold, its fur coat. Winter dogs need a clean and well-groomed coat in order to survive harsh winters as they act as their insulator in the cold. So pay special attention while grooming them.
- Fewer Baths – Similar to how it is for people, baths also dry out dogs’ skin. You can always limit the number of baths you give them during the winter. Baths obviously cannot be entirely omitted due to hygiene issues. Therefore, proper grooming should be incorporated with less frequent baths for the optimal protection of your dog’s skin.
5. Take proactive measures for the winter
It is always important to think ahead of times and consider the worst-case-scenarios. If you live where essential facilities such as the vet or pharmacies are not readily available during a snowstorm, make sure you have a backup supply of medication in the case of an emergency. It is crucial for owners to monitor their dog’s behavior closely and contact a vet immediately in the case of irregular behavior.
Winter can be a tough time for your dog. As responsible caretakers of dogs, you must do your part to ensure that your dog remains safe and healthy through the winter. By following the steps described above, you too can keep your furry best friend warm and happy.
Author Bio: Kaylie is all about heats and hugs. She is a content creator at Dogviously and prefers a simple life and believes in sharing. She can sync-dance with Sera – her Golden Retriever.