Winter essentials that your dog needs

BY | January 02 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Winter essentials that your dog needs

Image Credits: Pixabay

We are all getting cozy with our hot chocolate and blankets, now that winter is finally here. We start gearing up for the winter chill long before it approaches us. Scarves, gloves, socks, sweaters, and jackets are some of the essentials that we stock up on to help us brace the chilly weather. We face a lot of challenges during this season, however, have we ever thought about the challenges faced by dog owners?

Winters are quite harsh on dogs, and they feel the chill too. Dog owners, especially those living in areas that have quite a severe temperature, are tested during the cold days. If you are a dog owner who wants to do everything to make sure your furry friend is safe and warm, you would know the struggle.

For all of you, here are a few essentials that you need to get your dogs for them to go through the winter season smoothly:

1. Paw Protection

Snow and ice are quite bad for your poochโ€™s paws, but whatโ€™s even worse is the salt that is spread on the streets and sidewalks by snowplows and shovelers to melt the ice. Snow, when combined with salt, can cause a reaction that burns your poochโ€™s paws.

There are two options available for you to use to protect your dogโ€™s paws. The first option is rubber booties. They stay on for long, especially if you find the right size for your little friend. They are also waterproof and disposable.

The other option is the Paw Wax, which is a wax-like cream that you apply on your dogโ€™s paw pads and between their toes. You will have to wash it off after a walk, or else you will find wax prints all over your house.

2. A Dog Jacket

While we know that a dogโ€™s fur acts as a natural defense against the cold, a dog jacket is still a must for dogs with short and thin hair. You may also want to get this dog jacket if you live in an extremely chilly area.

When choosing a dog jacket for your pooch, make sure that it is at least decently waterproof so that the snow does not soak in and make the dog cold. It should also allow you to attach a leash for your walks. Choosing the size of the jacket is also very important; you need to follow the sizing instructions very carefully.

3. Healing Balm

We all have lotions and balms for our chapped lips and hands during the winters, donโ€™t we? Our dogs get chapped paws and nose too. To help your little friends get rid of cracked noses and paws, get a soothing butter balm that is safe for them.

4. A Warm Dog House We always crank up our heaters during those chilly days to help us keep warm. Shouldn't we should do the same for our pups? When your dog comes back after frolicking in the snow, it would want to cozy up in its place. Get them an insulated dog home where they can bundle up and relax. You could also get a dog heater to heat the dog house.

Nine Tips to Keep Dogs Happy and Healthy During Winter

Here's a short winter guide to keep your dog healthy and happy this season!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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