As the winter months begin to creep closer, we have to remember that it’s not only our lifestyle that’s in for a change but also that of our doggies’.
Unless you live in a tropical climate (yay, Florida!) then you’ll need to manage the harsh winter periods for your dog, especially if you don’t want them to spend that time cold, shivering, and stuck inside the house until spring.
Following these 5 Tips for Taking Care of the Pooch During the Winter Months will help keep your dog safe and healthy.
Should my pet’s diet be changed during the winter months?
As winter approaches, pet owners may ask themselves if their pet’s diet should be modified for the colder months.
While some changes may potentially be beneficial to your pet’s health, drastic or sudden changes in diet should not be made without consulting a veterinarian.
It is important to remember that many pets are used to year-round diets that are suitable for their particular needs, so any alterations should be carefully considered.
Regarding dietary change during winter months, it is best to speak with an experienced veterinarian who can provide insight into what modifications could benefit your pet and how they could impact its overall health.
Do I need to invest in protective clothing and winter boots for my dog?
In general, if your dog is living in a region with cold winters, it might be a good idea to invest in protective clothing and winter boots for them.
These pieces of apparel help protect them from the elements, as well as provide an extra layer of warmth.
If you are considering investing in these items, consider the comfort level of your pet – make sure the clothing fits properly and doesn’t constrict their movement.
Additionally, when selecting winter boots for your pup, remember that rubber-soled shoes provide traction on slick surfaces better than leather or cloth.
Purchasing protective clothing and winter boots can help ensure that your pet has a cozy and safe winter season.
Is it safe to leave my dog outside during periods of extreme cold or should they remain indoors?
With the cold winter weather upon us, we must consider our pets’ safety when spending time outdoors.
Extreme temperatures can be hazardous to our furry friends and can result in severe hypothermia or other medical issues if their coat does not sufficiently protect them from the elements.
Therefore, it is recommended that owners err on the side of caution and take measures to keep their dogs indoors during periods of extreme cold.
Short walks are permissible, but only with human supervision and appropriate attire; a sweater or coat will help insulate them from bitter wind chill factors.
While some breeds may be more resistant to temperature extremes than others, pets should be given additional care under extremely cold conditions.
Here are five tips that’ll help with taking care of ol’ poochie during winter:
1. Setup an adequate environment
Is your dog staying outside or are they inside for those winter months? Every pet is different, so it’s important to understand their threshold when it comes to the cold. Larger, wolf-like breeds hold up pretty well during the moderately cold times if they are to stay outdoors, but you wouldn’t want to put your Pomeranian outside, obviously.
· If they are an outside dog make sure their shelter is highly insulated; keep their bed elevated above the ground to prevent snow from melting and soaking their sleeping area.
· If they are inside make sure that the temperature is comfortable and setup their normal sleeping area with plenty of extra blankets (such as covering the crate with a comforter).
2. Dress them up
They already make costumes for dogs for the holidays so it comes as no surprise that they also make doggie wear for the colder months. A dog sweater is nice because your pooch can go outside when he pleases and stay warm (or if the two of you decide to go on a walk, he won’t be looking up at you with an “are you kidding me?” face). Just make sure that it’s not too tight.
3. Shag it out
Dogs naturally go through different shedding periods throughout the year, so let their bodies do their thing and bulk up on the fur. Now isn’t the time to groom down poochie to make them look dapper; they are growing those coats to handle the cold so let them shag it out.
4. Put more care into the food and water
Remember that most animals are going into a hibernation mode during the winter months to conserve their energy. Even though your dog is domesticated they are going to experience this process so they will generally be a little sluggish and not as active.
Remember these tips when it comes to food/water:
· Always make sure the water isn’t too cold (or goes icy)
· Try to stick to their normal diet unless they are staying outside and being active (in which case you should give them a little more to beef up)
· Get them exercising (take ‘em on walks) just as you would in the warmer months to make sure they are staying a healthy weight
5. Keep an eye on the warning signs
Dogs are just as susceptible to illnesses during the winter months as we are so it’s important that you keep an eye on them whether they’re inside or out:
· Do understand that dog paws can get frostbite (and what to do about it)
· Do realize that the dryness can possibly lead to kennel cough
· Do take notice if poochie is having trouble eating (possibly due to throat harshness)
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms then you should seek professional aid immediately to avoid furthering the damage caused by these issues. Treat them as you would like to be treated during the winter months – with love and care.
If you’re feeling the chill then your dog is certainly feeling the effects, too, so crank up the heat and be okay with the extra cost of the heating bill if it means the two of you are comfortable. Winter, for your dog, can be a whole lot of fun – just make sure you do some of these items from the post to ensure they’re comfortable when doing so.
How do you “winter-fy” your dog during the colder months?