Many people make the mistake of treating their dogs the same way in all seasons. This, certainly, is not the right way to take care of your pet. You will need to adjust the food, activity, skin care, and many other factors depending on the climate and temperature levels. This means the food, activities, etc. for your dog in winter will differ from those in summer or spring. And in this post, we will be looking at nine specific dog care tips for winter.
- Buy A Coat
During winter, the weather will inevitably be cold. As such, you should consider buying a sweater or a coat for your dog. If your dog has long hairs, then it will naturally be insulated from the cold. But if you have dogs with shorter hairs, then a coat is necessary to keep them warm. The coat must cover them right from the neck, all the way to the base of their tail. Plus, it should cover the belly completely.
2. Limit External Exposure
As far as possible, you should keep your dogs from being too exposed to the cold. Even if they wear a coat, they will still be at risk of frostbites. Even the furriest dogs can become victim to frostbites during extremely cold winters. It is advisable that you let your pets play outside only when the temperature is not too cold. And make sure to keep a close watch. If they show any sign of becoming uncomfortable due to the cold, take them inside.
3. Feel The Sun
In the months of winter, there will be times when the sun will shine brightly and the temperature will be relatively warm. Make sure that you encourage your dogs to get out on such sunny days. Locking them up during winter will have made them deficient in Vitamin D. As such, spending some time under the sun will give your pets the necessary vitamin that is essential for their health.
The coldness and dryness of the winter is likely to make your dog’s skin flaky. It will start cracking and might even bleed in some extreme cases. This is why it is necessary to moisturize your pet’s skin and coat. You can do so by bathing your pet with essential oils that will protect it from developing dry skin.
5. Watch Out For Heaters
Dogs will also be looking out for warm places in the house during winter. They are very likely to go and settle near the heater in order to get some warmth. This can be very dangerous, to say the least. Your pet can actually get burned from the heater, so it is recommended that you install radiator covers on the heater to avoid such accidents.
Make sure that you provide the right diet to your dogs during winter. Since the weather is extremely cold, your pets will have a lower metabolism. As such, you should not give them the same quantities of food that you have given them during summer. The lower metabolism and lack of physical activities will prevent all the food from being properly burned. As a result, excess food will simply be converted into fat and deposited around their belly, making them fatter. So, consult your vet and cut back on the amount of food you feed your dog.
Though fleas are less active during winter, your dogs will still be susceptible to them. And coupled with dry skin, fleas (especially the blood-sucking ones) can actually turn out to be very dangerous to your dogs. Use a product like Pet-lock.com to keep them safe from fleas.
It is not just the summer heat that will dehydrate dogs; they can become dehydrated during winter as well. Due to the cold weather, they might not feel the thirst and as a result, will not drink as much water as they ideally should. And this is very bad for their health. Only by drinking adequate quantities of water can dogs have proper bowel movements and digestion. Without this, your dogs can develop some serious issues with the digestive system. So, refill the water bowl as often as you can and ensure that your dog drinks enough water every day.
9. Care For The Paws
Your dog’s paws need special attention during winter. The excessive cold temperatures can result in cracked paws. And unlike the cracked, dry skin you might find on other parts of the body, cracked paws can be very discomforting for pets since they won’t even be able to walk properly. You can buy a pair of dog socks and cover their paws with it. This should keep their paws protected from the ill effects of winter.