Petcare in the Winter
Petcare in the Winter
Depending on the region you live in, you may already be in the midst of a snowstorm. At the very least you have now had your first cold snap of the season. The change in seasons means a lot more than just comfort foods and cozy sweaters. There are certain precautions we humans take to prepare for the cold, wet months so we need to remember that our furry friends also need special attention during the winter.
Adjusting your dog’s routine in simple ways will keep them healthy and therefore happy. Take some of these simple tips to make them more comfortable but always speak to your veterinary professional for solid medical advice.
Pause for Paws
We wear socks, thermal undies, waterproof boots and whatnot in order to protect our little piggies from the cold. Why wouldn’t our dogs need the same? The cold weather for your pup is unbearable at best but keep in mind that frostbite is very real and their tail, paws, and ears are very susceptible to frostbite. If you cannot find accessories or create DIY tail and earmuffs for your dog, consider keeping your walks short and more frequent rather than a couple long walks during the day. Dog booties can protect their paws from the cold ground and elements. Always watch your dog and his paw licking habits as many roads are using special salts toi de-ice the roads. Your dog can get very sick from licking these deposits. Awareness and rinsing of the paws will decrease this possibility.
Change in Diet Due to Activity
This is an area that is subject to your dog’s breed and activity level. For example, a husky whose natural habitat is cold, snowy weather may thrive in this cold weather and be even more active. Whereas a chihuahua is definitely not going to fare well in this season. So depending on how active they are, you will need to adjust their caloric intake. This is best judged with your experience as a pet owner and also be consulted with your vet. If your dog is suffering from lower activity due to the weather, consider creating fun games inside using their food. Anything from throwing their kibble down the hallway so they run back and forth for it to creating snuffle puzzles will be an excellent, stimulating activity.
Remember that your home may have open heat sources that can severely burn your pets. Cats especially love sitting on radiators but this may not be the best thing for them or your appliance. Same goes for your dogs. Watch out for heating vents, eclectic heaters, and fireplaces that they may accidentally walk into.
Off leash walks and play is highly inadvisable. Aside from the frostbite concerns, consider that snow plows and vehicles may be hidden from immediate view. Try not to risk getting hit by an unseen car. If you live in regions that have blizzards, then always be aware of the changing weather and have snowstorm items ready for your dog, such as: plenty of food and medication, blankets, clean water, flashlights & batteries.
Bath times in the winter should be less frequent. The dry atmosphere as well as the hot water will dry out your pet’s skin and that may cause discomfort for those with sensitive skin. Speak to your vet about moisturizing shampoos fit for this type of climate.
Be careful out there but don’t stop having fun! Check back in for more tips and information on pet health and lifestyle. You can follow us too on Instagram or Facebook @docopet.