Winter is around the corner and soon you’ll wrap yourself up in warm clothes and bring out those cosy quilts. But what about that little furry mate who’s seated beside you while you are reading this blog? Cold treats us all the same and there is not much dogs can do about it themselves. Caring for dogs in winter season is a multi-aspect effort that will require some thoughts and devising. To make sure your little pooch is comfortable this winter, here are some tips :
How to care for dogs in winter
Take care of your Dog’s Paws:
“Dog’s paws, ears, and tail are most vulnerable to freezing”, advises Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, service chief for a Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Although there are boots available in the market, we recommend that you provide socks to your dogs in winter since shoes can throw off a dog’s friction and balance. Also, some shoes can be irritant to the skin whereas dog socks provide coverage and also prevent sand and dust from getting lodged between bare toes. Make sure you buy them skin-friendly paw protectors which don’t irritate their skin.
Buy them a warm coat:
Besides dog socks, your pet also needs a soft and nice woollen garb just like you do. A variety of jackets and sweaters are available for dogs so make sure you pick one right away. While purchasing a sweater, it is important that you take your pooch’s measurements carefully. If the sweaters are too tight, they might end up tearing it which would eventually defeat the purpose. It is the first and foremost thing to focus that your pooch should feel comfortable in its coat. When out on walks it’s important to make sure your four-legged friends are wrapped up warm. A jacket can be provided to dogs in winter when you go out, especially if you have a short-haired dog like a beagle or pug.
Alter their diet routine:
If you do find that your dog is less active in the cool months of the year, make sure you adjust the amount of food you’re giving in order to avoid weight gain. Depending upon the activity level of your dogs in winter time, a high quality and wholesome diet should be provided. A raw meat meal will make sure your dog’s energy level is high during the bleak winter months.
Never shave your pet down to the skin:
Dogs in winter ideally should not be shaved down to the skin, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, give them a minor trim. Ascertain that you don’t neglect the hair between their toes.
No Off-leash time:
Winter fog affects visibility, a factor you should definitely consider when taking out your dog for walks. A sturdy leash is a must so as to avoid your dog running haphazardly or going astray. This way, you can also avoid any mishap or accidents caused by winter fog.
Keep them indoors:
We suggest you keep your pupper indoor during chilly mornings and nights. Walk them in the afternoon instead! Dogs can sometimes be hesitant to venture out into the cold. If this is the case, do not force them out but make sure to keep them active and occupied with lots of toys inside the place. Here’s where you can find dog-friendly toys.
If you are a parent to a lot of stray dogs in the vicinity of your residence, take an initiative to provide them with spare jute sacks or old clothes. Place them in some sheltered space where it’s comparatively less chilly.
*Note- Although providing woven clothes to strays is a noble initiative, you should know that these clothes absorb moisture from atmospheric phenomena like dew, rain, hail etc. and because the dogs won’t be able to take the clothes off themselves, the moisture would give them more chills and they may fall sick.
Schedule a vet visit:
It has been observed that winter is harsh on certain dogs, especially older ones who are prone to arthritis and other adversities. Scheduling a regular visits to a vet is important to ensure proper dog care. Thus, it will help you stay updated with your dog’s health needs and do’s and don’ts during the winter season.
It’s crucial to have a checklist handy if you live in those parts of the country where it’s likely to snow. It will help you ensure that you have everything your pet may need. Clean water, plenty of food, medications are basic amenities.
Keep your pets indoors. If left outdoors, they might freeze and might affect their health. Now that you are prepared for the temperature drop, make sure you adjust your pet’s daily routine so that they are safe, happy and comfortable.