When snow falls lazily down from the sky, it can be very beautiful and serene, inspiring good thoughts and cheerful moods. But for many animals, snow and cold weather is not beautiful; it is a hardship to be endured, making it difficult to stay warm and dry. It can also be difficult to locate food and fresh water.
Your beloved canine companion may suffer from being cold and wet, unless you know the right steps to make sure he is kept warm and safe during the winter weather and precipitation. Are you wondering how to keep your dog warm, healthy and safe in the winter time? Below are some tips that will help dog owners manage their pets’ needs in the coldest season of the year.
#1 – Fight Winter Cold and Illness with Dog Clothing
Some dog breeds are more prone to being cold or getting sick in the winter time. Normally, these breeds are short-haired or hairless dog types, but senior dogs from all breeds might become cold as well. Another group affected by the colder temperatures includes those who are sick or fighting off illnesses.
Dog clothes can help keep your pet from experiencing the cold and chills of winter. How can you tell if your pet is cold and needs to wear dog clothes? If your dog starts to act differently, such as becoming lazy and preferring to stay curled up on sofas and beds, this could be a good indication that your dog is too cold to move about.
You should not have any difficulty finding good quality clothing for your dog in a variety of colors, styles and other options. Choose an online dog clothing store with affordable prices and great customer reviews, making it easy to find the right styles and sizes for your dog. In the winter, dog clothing is necessary to help some dog breeds keep warm and most cute and sassy styles will only add to their adorableness.
#2 – Let Your Dog Warm Up with Daily Exercises
Even when it is cold outside, your dog needs daily exercise to maintain his physical and mental wellness. Your beloved pet will enjoy both indoor games and outdoor exercises, because playing games with your dog indoors is great for his health and happiness.
A good example of healthy games to play with your dog includes hide-and-seek and tug of war. Both are wonderful ways to coax your dog into getting up and moving around in the winter. If you take your dog for some outdoor exercise, avoid staying outside for too long as 20 or 30 minutes will constitute a nice exercise session. You don’t want to risk staying out too long or your dog will become exhausted.
#3 – Choose the Right Amount of Food and Water for Winter
In the winter, nearly all animals will get become slightly fatter and their coats will become thicker in preparation for winter, but this can also deplete your dog’s energy. Dog owners should offer their canine companions more food than usual, and plump dogs are often much healthier than those who are thin.
You should also avoid feeding your dog too much food, especially if he is being lazy and dislikes moving or exercising. If you are not sure of the amount of food your dog needs in the winter, you should talk to your vet about your dog’s particular energy needs.
You should also routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain it is fresh and has not been frozen. In colder weather, you should use plastic food and water bowls because when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal. There are also heated bowls that can be purchased for your dog’s outdoor drinking needs.
#4 – When it’s Cold, Your Dog Needs Comfort and Shelter
When it is cold and wet, dogs are at a greater risk of becoming sick in the winter. Dogs that enjoy playing in the slush or snow may bring some of that moisture inside, leaving their dog bed and furniture wet also. In low temperatures, dog beds cannot dry very quickly and you do not want your dog to lie in a wet bed or he will be at risk of catching a cold.
This means that, in the wintertime when the ground is wet with snow, sleet, slush or rain, you should wipe your dog’s feet and dry his coat after every walk or exercise session. Next, make sure your dog’s bed and/or shelter is dry and cozy, and is large enough to accommodate the dog whether he chooses to sit or lie comfortably but small enough to hold the dog’s body heat.
When the temperature drops, dogs like to spend most of their time curled up in bed. For this reason, it is very important to provide your canine companion with a warm and comfortable bed.
Have you ever noticed that some people put dog shoes on their pets? Did you think this was simply an effort to have a fashionable dog? While some dog owners enjoy having a fashionable pooch, many owners understand the need to protect the bottom of their dog’s paws from salt and injury.
Your dog may or may not like wearing shoes, but dog shoes and dog booties can protect his paws and keep salt away from the pads, which are very sensitive. Most owners know that salt is used by many property owners and city workers to melt the snow and ice faster. This salt can be problematic for dogs.
Some dogs lick the snow or groom their paws with their tongues. When this salt is present on the ground, it can easily be transferred to his mouth, which may cause irritation. Dog shoes will protect your dog from this salt transference. If your dog will not leave the dog booties or shoes on his paws, be sure to wipe them down with a damp towel after every outing, just to be safe.
#6 – Avoid Leaving Your Dog Alone in a Cold Vehicle
Never leave your dog inside a cold vehicle, thinking it will be a safe environment for your pet. Just like hot days, leaving your dog in a cold vehicle for any length of time can also result in death. Most people assume that a closed car can help keep your dog warm and protected from the cold wind, when in fact, the temperature may drop or climb rapidly, usually within ten minutes, depending on whether the sun is shining.
Yes, your dog can suffer from heat stroke, even in the winter time. A dog left in the car can also freeze in low temperatures. It is best to avoid leaving your dog in a vehicle unattended, whether it is cold or warm. You should also pay attention when starting your vehicle to make sure there are no dogs, cats or other animals who might crawl beneath your vehicle or under the hood before taking off in the winter. This is because outdoor animals might be attracted to your car’s warm engine, so it is always best to look before starting your vehicle or putting it into gear.
Did you know that antifreeze is very dangerous because it is poisonous to your dog? Antifreeze is normally a bright yellow or green liquid with a slightly sweet smell and is used in the radiators of cars, trucks and other motor vehicles to prevent the water within the radiator from freezing.
Antifreeze can change the water’s boiling and freezing points when added to the water in a radiator. For this reason, it was used primarily in the summer for air conditioning, or to combat freezing in the winter. Antifreeze contains several chemicals, including Ethylene glycol, which is very poisonous when swallowed.
Because of the sweet smell that antifreeze gives off, many animals are attracted to it. Licking or drinking this chemical rich fluid can result in death for your beloved canine. Always keep this bright green or yellow liquid off of the ground and away from your dog. You should also make sure that your dog does not venture off of your property, because cruel people will purposely set antifreeze out to poison unwanted animals.
Most of these wintertime tips are common sense for savvy dog owners but it does not hurt to repeat them for the sake of your beloved pet’s safety and overall good health. Your pet is a family member and relative; you love your dog enough to make sure that he is warm, comfortable and safe throughout the winter season and beyond.
Can you think of other great winter tips for caring dog owners?