Winter is on its way and we are already feeling the chill in the
air. Unfortunately, while we know what to do in the cold and can
express ourselves, our four-legged friends are not so lucky. The
onus is on you as an owner to understand your pet’s needs and to
take care of it in the right way. Here are a few changes you can
make in taking care of your dog in winter.
Reduce the frequency with which you bathe your dog in the winter.
As it is, bathing your dog too frequently in any season is not
desirable at all as the natural oils which a dog’s body releases
are very essential for the health if its skin. This is more
important in winter than at any other time.Bathing in winter may
lead to increased chances of flaky skin and dandruff because due
to the dryness in the air.
This is an important point for owners who have dogs with long
hair. Long hair can tangle more often, thereby collecting frost,
snow and other icy formations. It is very important to remember
to regularly run a soft brush through your dog’s hair during
winter. Not only is this important to remove icy debris, but also
deposits of flaky skin and hair. This way, your dog’s coat will
be breathable and remain healthy.
More calories are burnt in cold weather than in warm. This means
that your pet will require more food than usual. Try
incorporating more meat into your dog’s diet during winter as
this can help your dog’s body deal with the cold better. Also,
make sure your dog has access to plenty of water, as dehydration
can easily occur in dry, cold environments.
Walks and outdoor activities
Reduce letting your dog getting out too much during the winter.
The more number of times your dog moves from the warm indoors to
the cold outdoors and vice versa, the more are the chances of its
skin causing problems. Try and keep your dog indoors as much as
possible. Rather than just heating your home, try to humidify it
as well as this can prevent the problems occurring due to a dry
environment. At times when you take your dog for a walk, dry him
up immediately upon getting him back inside with a dry towel.
Leaving the frost can cause the fur to remain wet.In general,
remember that if you are cold, so is your pet and ignoring your
pet in the winter is very cruel. States such as Ohio have already
passed legislations to punish owners who leave their dogs out in
the cold. For more guidelines, contact
How to Care for Your Dog During Winter
Dogs are able to handle winter conditions by themselves. Even so,
it makes sense to ensure that they stay healthy and happy during
the winter season. The main risk your dog faces during the winter
is from frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can set in when
dog's body becomes cold. Hypothermia sets in when your dog has
spent too much time in the outdoors or when it is in poor health
or when it suffers from poor circulation. Protecting your dog
against both these risks should be your paramount concern. Here
is how you should take care of your dog during winter.
Feeding Your Dog
Start by increasing your dog's calorie intake. Depending on its
size, it increases its calorie intake by about ten percent.
Feeding your dog high-quality whole dog foods that contain a lot
of raw meat will help to keep its coat healthy. It also pays to
add dog fish oil supplements, Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids to
its diet. Last but not least, make sure your dog has easy access
to clean drinking water.
Taking Your Dog Outside
Try and take your dog out only when the sun is shining and never
allow it to go out unsupervised. Make sure the walks are as short
as possible to prevent it from being overexposed to the cold.
Also, do not take your dog near a frozen lake or river or pond.
If your dog has short hair, then make it wear a snug-fitting
sweater or jacket. Dog booties can help protect its paws in the
winter. So, consider using them. Your dog must also have suitable
bedding. You could think about using a raised bed to prevent its
body from contacting cold floors. The bed should also be placed
in a warm place where there are no drafts.
The third aspect of caring for your dog in winter involves its
grooming. In the winter, it is never a good idea to shave your
dog or trim its hair. If your dog has long hair, then brush its
hair on a regular basis to prevent dry skin and dandruff. You
should also decrease the frequency of its baths, and after a
bath, make sure it never goes out with a wet coat.
Be sure to buy snug-fitting dog booties to protect your dog’s
feet from salt and the cold surfaces. Also, make it wear lights
or some form of reflective gear so that it is clearly visible to
others. A jacket or vest that has some reflective strips would
add another level of protection for your dog. Finally, have a
towel handy near the door so that you can easily use it to dry it
and its paws when it comes in from the outside.