The cold season comes with some special requirements and things to look out for so here are our tips for dog owners in the winter to ensure that your pet is in the best condition. The daily routine of your pet should adapt to the weather as even if dogs do have a fur this doesn’t mean they will tolerate the cold with ease. Things like frostbite or hypothermia can happen to your dog too and the happiest pet will be the one indoors if the weather goes cold.
Dogs do require a bit more calories during the winter only if they spend a lot of time outdoors so try to avoid overfeeding your pet. Whole foods like raw meat will ensure their coat is healthy and this will also provide them with the energy they need so that is the best choice instead of just stuffing your pet. Only change the diet if their activity level changes so if the dog spent a lot of time outside when the weather was nice and now they move indoors you should actually reduce the calories they eat.
The cold can lead to the dog’s pads getting cracked and if their feet are furry the ice buildup can maintain the temperature cold, damaging that area. If is recommended to trim the hair between the pads and wipe their paws if any salt gets there. There are booties made specifically for dogs and they can prove a real help if the dog has to go outside for walks. Make sure the dog doesn’t lick their paws after coming back in since some elements like antifreeze or salt can get them sick.
Seniors are even more sensitive during this period since arthritis pains can increase due to the cold so you should protect them from the cold as much as possible. Slippery surfaces can also prove problematic so be mindful of that.
These will be attractive for dogs that feel the cold but they might prove a hazard since pose a burn risk. The best option is to try to make them inaccessible to dogs during the winter and this can be done with baseboard radiator covers. Fireplaces are also obviously a risk if they aren’t pet proofed in some way.
The bathing routine can dry the dog’s skin and it can lead to some discomfort and this is why vets recommend that the bathing interval be increased between December and March. Coconut and fish oils are foods that will help keep the pet’s skin and coat healthy and if you see their paws, ears or tail cracking or too dry you can use some oil on the spot.
Some areas are prone to blizzards during the winter and it is important to know what to do in the eventuality of one. The basics are blankets for you and the pet, flashlights with batteries ready and also ensure you have some clean water, sufficient food, medication and tools to remove the snow excess afterwards.