With the onset of winters, a dog’s natural mechanism starts
working that gets them prepared to battle the harsh weather. The
shorter days and longer nights give signals to the dog’s brain
and tell them that winter is on its way. Due to this, their
metabolism slows down.
Even though a dog’s body naturally prepares itself for the cold
weather, taking care of the food is very important. You need to
know what to feed and how to change its diet to ensure that your
pooch does not lose weight and fall ill.
Here are some tips that will help you feed your pooch during
As per studies, dogs need more calories during winter since the
low temperature makes them shed a lot of calories. Dogs, like
humans, need to maintain constant body temperature and the way to
do it during winter is by shivering. However, shivering leads to
a loss of calories in dogs. Dogs, consequently, need more
calories to be able to compensate for that loss. Dog owners need
to switch up their pooches diet during winter so that they do not
lose any extra weight because of shivering.
Does activity levels affect what and how much to
You also need to make a note of your pooch's activity levels to
know how many calories to feed. Some dogs become highly inactive,
and feeding them extra calories can lead to weight gain. Tweak
your diet and keep a regular check on their weight to know
whether you need to increase or decrease the calorie intake for
your little friend.
If you see your pooch gaining weight, cut back on the food and
feed it less than you used to during summer.
Find activities that you both enjoy
Make sure you give your canine companion enough activity to stop
lethargy from setting in. Look for better ways in which you can
help your little pooch manage its calories. There are so many
options available; you could play indoor games or take your
friend to a dog daycare at least twice a week. Nutrition is
nothing without proper exercise; make sure you give enough of
that to your dog.
Hydration is essential
One thing that should not be compromised on is water. A dog gets
dehydrated quickly when the weather is cold and dry. Please keep
checking the water bowl and make sure always to fill it. If your
dogs stay outside the house during winter, keep a check on the
water bowl to see that the water has not frozen. You cannot let
your pooch drink snow.
Food that supports their immune system
Just like humans, dogs are also vulnerable to falling sick
quickly. Get them good that has high nutritional value and help
boost their immune system. Check the nutritional profile of the
dog foods before you buy them for your pooch.
Illnesses that Dogs are Prone to During Winter
Winters can be very harsh, especially on your dog’s health. Dogs
are prone to a lot of illnesses during the chilly winter months.
Dog owners need to take extra precautions to ensure that their
dogs stay healthy despite the cold weather.
Here are the five common illnesses that dogs are prone to during
Hypothermia is a condition that instigates the body temperature
to go low when a dog has prolonged exposure to a cold
environment. This illness is more prominent in dogs who already
have diabetes and heart ailments. Dogs with these diseases are
unable to maintain their body temperature. The symptoms of
Hypothermia that you need to look out for include weakness,
lethargy, and restlessness.
Frostbite is an illness that occurs when a dog stays in a cold
environment for long, which pulls all the blood to the center of
the body. Due to a Frostbite, a dog’s paws, ears, and nose get
very cold that may lead to ice crystals forming in the tissues.
You will not be able to see and locate the damages done for a few
If you see symptoms of frostbite in your dog, you immediately
need to make it warm by applying warm water to the affected
areas. Doing this will melt away all the ice crystals and
reinstate blood circulation. However, ensure that you do not
massage the frostbitten areas as that may lead to pain. When your
dog warms up, wrap it in a cozy and warm blanket before taking it
to the vet.
3. The Sniffles
Dogs get sniffles too, just like us humans. Sniffles is a minor
upper respiratory infection with symptoms that include a runny
nose, slight cough, watery eyes, and occasional sneezing, among
others. You can treat Sniffles in your dog the same way you treat
a baby. Give your little friend a good amount of rest, a warm
blanket, and make it drink lots of water.
4. Flu and Pneumonia
The dogs that are the most affected by this disease include
elderly dogs and young puppies. However, it is not just limited
to them. This illness can affect any dog who has had a lot of
contact with rain or snow. Mild symptoms of this illness include
dry or moist coughs and sneezing. More severe symptoms include
bloody coughs, fever and breathing problems, among others.
5. Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough or canine infectious trachea-bronchitis is a disease
that dogs are really vulnerable to catch during winter. This
condition is a result of a virus and bacteria working together.
There are several factors that make a dog prone to catching this
illness. The common symptoms that you should look out for include
a honking dry cough and eye discharge.