Just because your furry friends have a coat of fur on them doesn’t mean they don’t feel the cold!
Sitting by the fireplace snuggled under a blanket and a cup of hot brew in hand – the most delightful season of the year is here! However, when the mercury plunges to an all-time low and the chill becomes unbearable, it is essential to adjust your pet’s day-to-day routine to keep them safe and healthy till the buds of spring begin to bloom.
Here are the five ways using which you can give your pets that much needed extra care and make their winter’s comfortable:
Winter Dog Care Tips to Protect Your Four-Legged Friend
Is your dog active during the winter, or do you find him lazing around? Either way, follow the tips mentioned below to keep your pet safe during winters:
Limit the Off-Leash Time
Most dogs love spending time outdoors. However, during the winter, even the furriest ones can get cold. Prolonged exposures to snow can even result in frostbite on dogs. Therefore, it is advisable to limit their outdoor time during the chilly season.
It doesn’t mean you stop their outdoor activity altogether! You can take your dog for walks and exercise but make sure you do this during the hours when temperatures are a little warmer. Exposure to the sun can not only benefit your pet but also help you get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Furthermore, if your dog is among the breeds that are not blessed with thick fur, they may not be able to keep themselves warm even during the mild cold. So, consider getting a dog jacket from Pet Life and add an extra layer during their winter walks.
Beware of The Heaters!
Do you have a fireplace or a space heater installed at home? Chances are you do!
You may not be aware that dogs often seek heat when they are cold by snuggling close to any heat source they can find. However, they are not aware of how hot they can get. Therefore, heaters and fireplaces pose a significant threat to your beloved pet.
In such a case, it is a wise choice to have a pet-proof system that can prevent your heat-seeking buddy from any burn risks. Besides keeping your dog away from all the heat sources in the house, do not let him sleep on the cold floor.
Give your little canine buddy the warmth he needs with the right bedding. After all, your dog helps you remain active across seasons. You can use warm blankets to create a snug environment. It will also help him keep the stiffness out of his aging joints.
Count the Calories
Sure, your dog may need an extra layer to keep his winter cozy and comfortable. However, replacing it with a layer of fat is not the right choice. There are chances your pup may need fewer calories during the season due to decreased activity and lazy behavior.
For ensuring a healthy coat and an adequate amount of energy for the cold winter months, treat your dog with high-quality whole foods. A raw meat-based diet is a perfect choice for pets in such a case. Make sure his diet has all the minerals, vitamins, and calories needed to thrive.
If you are uncertain about the correct diet for your dog and how many calories he needs, it is an excellent choice to consult your vet. He will consider his activity level and other factors to develop the perfect diet plan for your pawed bud.
Hydration is the Key
Just like you need enough water to have a healthy lifestyle, pets demand the same. Your adorable pet can dehydrate just as quickly in the chilly months as he does in the summer. Yes, your dog may love eating snow, but that isn’t the right substitute for freshwater.
Therefore, always ensure that along with feeding your dog the right way, you hydrate him enough. Check his water bowl often and refill it time and again. If your pup loves spending time outdoors, ensure that he has easy access to his water bowl. Also, make it a point to break the ice that forms on top of it regularly.
While your dog is playing out, do not forget to check signs of frostbite in dogs, as well. Usually, you can recognize this by checking the skin. If it appears gray or bluish, get your pet to a warm place as soon as possible.
Tend to Their Paws
Do you develop cracks in winter if you do not take care of your feet? Just like humans, dogs can suffer from cracked pads too. Therefore, the winter season demands you to take care of their paws, as well.
If your pet breed has furry feet, it is advisable to trim the hair that grows between the pads. This way, when he goes out in the snow, there will be no ice buildup. Also, after your dog’s walks, make sure to rinse or wipe his paws. You can even use dog booties to protect his paws!
You can follow the above tips to keep your dog safe and comfy during winters. However, how does one know their pet is cold? Well, the solution is simple. When you stand at your door without your coat, how do you feel? If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your furry friend too.
Also, you must look for signs of frostbite and hypothermia in dogs. Such problems are common during the winter months. Further, if you see your dog shivering, grumbling, or apprehensive, it is time to get him a cozy blanket. Do the same if you find your dog halting his play and looking for places to burrow.
Harsh winter weather can be quite challenging for pets. Pay special attention to your loyal furred friend’s wellbeing with these winter care tips for dogs. It will ensure that both of you enjoy this wonderful season to the fullest. Also, don’t forget to cuddle with your little pooch!