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Here's a short winter guide to keep your dog healthy and happy this season!
- If you have a short-haired dog or it is still a pup, then the fur may not be able to protect them as well from the harsh cold. Get them a winter coat so they stay warm during the winter. Observe their response to layers, you don't want them to end up feeling suffocating in it. You can also get them paw booties so they are warm when they walk on ice or snow, and it offers better traction on icy surfaces as well.
- The tolerance to cold varies depending on the breed, age, fat deposit, coat length, and such. You want to be observant of your dog's responses during the cold winters and see if there are any changes in its regular activities or behavior.
- The food habits of your pet should be changed to the cold winter weather. You want to have a chat with your vet on any particular nutritional requirements that your pet may need. Of course, exercise and activity are key factors to consider while deciding how many calories your pet needs. For instance, if your dog isn't very active, then you want to look at low-calorie treats, while you want to add a little more calorie into its diet if they are very active.
- Make sure that there are no anti-freeze spills in your garage or driveway. Dogs find the anti-freeze tasty, and might consume it, not realizing that it is toxic. It can poison your dog.
- The cold weather does not mean that your dog should skip its exercise. Your dog can exercise while at home, whether it is by running up and down the stairs or playing fetch indoors. A little bit of indoor playtime can help make sure that your pet does not get lethargic during winter.
- If you take your dog out for a walk, be sure to avoid ponds, lakes, river or water bodies that are frozen. There is a good chance that the ice may break and your dog falls in.
- Your dog's keen sense of smell may be affected during winter due to the heavy winds and snowfall. This means, you should be at close quarters to your dog at all times when you're outdoors or you might just lose him/her. It's a good idea to keep your dog on a leash when you take them out during winters.
- Make sure you wipe your dogs' paws after it comes home, as they may be exposed to salt and de-icing chemicals, and try to lick it off.
- Stop by the vet's clinic during winter to make sure that your pet is healthy. Dogs may develop arthritis and other such conditions during the cold season.