It’s very important for you to keep your dog happy and healthy all the time, and this remains true during the winter. The weather can be challenging for your dog during this time of the year, so you should exert time and effort to ensure that your pet remains safe and comfortable.
Contrary to popular belief, keeping your dog warm this winter isn’t a tedious chore. Regardless of how busy you are during the day or what kind of breed your dog is, there are many simple yet effective ways as to how you can accomplish this goal.
To give you an idea of what your options are, here are 8 dog care tips on how you can keep your dog warm this winter:
1. Invest In A Sweater Or Coat
A sweater or coat is essential for humans during the winter, but do you know that the same remains true for your furry friend? Your dog has fur, but, more often than not, this isn’t enough to keep them warm during the winter, especially during the nighttime.
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog warm this winter is to let them wear a sweater or coat. Hurtta Canada, for example, specializes in dog gear, so consider shopping weeks or months before winter. Depending on your preferences, you can buy a parka jacket, warmer jacket, or a quilted overall coat for your pet pooch.
2. Go For Shorter, More Frequent Walks
Taking your dog for walks every day is essential to keep them healthy. Walking your dog regularly provides mental stimulation and physical exercise to your furry friend, and allows them to socialize with other pets and humans and is a basic dog care essential. This is also a simple exercise that helps your dog release excess energy so they can sleep well at night.
But, regardless of how beneficial walks are, you should never overdo it during the winter months. Excessive exposure to the cold weather can lead to serious health risks, such as frostbite and hypothermia.
If you’re going to take your dog for a walk during winter, make sure to keep it short and do it more frequently during the day. If you’re always taking your dog for walks for at least an hour during winter, opt to take them on a 30-minute walk twice a day during winter.
Related: 10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy
3. Have A Dry Towel Nearby After Walks
After taking your dog for walks, don’t immediately step inside your home and snuggle on the couch; you should spend time to dry their paws and body with a towel before letting them inside your house.
Keeping dry towels by the door and using them after your walks is important because aside from keeping your dog’s paws and body warm, this will also help remove snow caught on their fur. Overtime, snow caught in your dog’s fur can cause them to lick and scratch their skin, which can lead to irritation.
4. Avoid Lakes And Ponds
When taking your dog for a walk, steer clear of any icy lakes and ponds. Going for walks in these areas can be very tempting, but doing so can put you and your dog at risk. Water that has frozen over doesn’t guarantee that it can support your dog’s weight. It can be very deadly for your pet if they fall through ice.
5. If It’s Too Cold For You, It’s Too Cold For Your Dog
A lot of people think that just because dogs have fur, they’re immune to the cold or have better tolerance to cold environments than humans. This isn’t always true; in fact, short-nosed dogs, like French bulldogs, Boston terriers, bull mastiffs, and Shih Tzus, are more at risk in extreme temperatures because of their inherited breathing problem.
Another way to keep your dog warm during the winter is to pay attention to the temperature outdoors and assess how ‘cold’ it is for you. If it’s too cold for you, it’s best if you keep your pet indoors and not take any risks.
6. Feed Your Dog Well
The food you feed your dog can significantly affect their body temperature. Ideally, dogs that are naturally active should be fed with foods that contain more calories so their bodies can generate energy to keep them warm during winter.
Aside from paying attention to the number of calories your dog is getting every day, you should also make sure that their diet includes foods that are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants can boost your dog’s immune system, keeping them safe from cold during winter. Some of the foods that are high in antioxidants and safe for your dogs are cooked yellow squash, steamed broccoli, and fresh strawberries.
7. Create Warming Stations Indoors
It’s common for humans to snuggle in their warm and cozy beds during winter. Aside from keeping them comfortable, the warmth of their beds can also keep them safe from weather-related health risks. And, these are things that you can also provide as part of your dog care during winter.
Creating warming stations indoors for your dog is another way to keep them comfortable and safe during winter. You can start investing in high-quality dog beds and blankets for your pet. You can also choose to place these items near heaters to ensure that your dog will remain comfortable and warm regardless of how cold the weather is.
8. Lessen Baths
Giving baths to your dog is an essential act of dog care for their hygiene and overall health. Bathing your dog can also become your opportunity to check the condition of your dog’s skin, fur, and body, in general. However, during the winter months, it’s best if you limit the number of baths you give to your dog.
If you regularly bathe your dog twice a week, strive to bathe them once a week or once every two weeks during winter. This will allow them to produce natural oils that can keep their bodies warm and their skin hydrated.
Along with the tips presented in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health and safety during the winter months. Your vet can provide pieces of advice to keep your dog happy and healthy during this time of the year so that you can maximize your level of dog care. Your vet’s health is vital, especially if you’re looking after a puppy, a senior, or a dog who’s been diagnosed with a health condition.