Image Credits: Pixabay
Dogs are able to handle winter conditions by themselves. Even so, it makes sense to ensure that they stay healthy and happy during the winter season. The main risk your dog faces during the winter is from frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can set in when dog’s body becomes cold. Hypothermia sets in when your dog has spent too much time in the outdoors or when it is in poor health or when it suffers from poor circulation. Protecting your dog against both these risks should be your paramount concern. Here is how you should take care of your dog during winter.
Feeding Your Dog
Start by increasing your dog’s calorie intake. Depending on its size, it increases its calorie intake by about ten percent. Feeding your dog high-quality whole dog foods that contain a lot of raw meat will help to keep its coat healthy. It also pays to add dog fish oil supplements, Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids to its diet. Last but not least, make sure your dog has easy access to clean drinking water.
Taking Your Dog Outside
Try and take your dog out only when the sun is shining and never allow it to go out unsupervised. Make sure the walks are as short as possible to prevent it from being overexposed to the cold. Also, do not take your dog near a frozen lake or river or pond. If your dog has short hair, then make it wear a snug-fitting sweater or jacket. Dog booties can help protect its paws in the winter. So, consider using them. Your dog must also have suitable bedding. You could think about using a raised bed to prevent its body from contacting cold floors. The bed should also be placed in a warm place where there are no drafts.
The third aspect of caring for your dog in winter involves its grooming. In the winter, it is never a good idea to shave your dog or trim its hair. If your dog has long hair, then brush its hair on a regular basis to prevent dry skin and dandruff. You should also decrease the frequency of its baths, and after a bath, make sure it never goes out with a wet coat.
Be sure to buy snug-fitting dog booties to protect your dog’s feet from salt and the cold surfaces. Also, make it wear lights or some form of reflective gear so that it is clearly visible to others. A jacket or vest that has some reflective strips would add another level of protection for your dog. Finally, have a towel handy near the door so that you can easily use it to dry it and its paws when it comes in from the outside.