The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ for humans may not be as delightful for dogs, especially if they are not built for cold weather. Don’t fret though, as owners can still make their canine pals happy during this season. To help you do that, here are some tips that you can easily follow to keep tails wagging all the way through the festive season.
1. Keep them warm with winter clothes If your dog is a light bodied breed with short fur, you may want to dress it up in winter sweaters before heading out. In a previous High Society Canine post, we discussed a few recommendations with regards to choosing the right winter coat for your pet. The general rules are to carefully study the size of the coat, as well as choose the appropriate fabric. Dogs may need protection for their paws as well. Without it, they may experience frostbite or cracks on their paw pads. Putting on boots is advisable, as this allows your pooch to tread the snow easily, aside from keeping their feet insulated. Of course, it may take some time for the dog to get used to such footwear. Let it roam around the house while wearing them until it gets comfortable.
2. Have them groomed regularly As for dogs with long hair, be sure to keep it tangle-free. A matted coat opens up a gap and lets cold air in. Go Fetch suggests to brush dogs regularly, so they remains insulated. Plus, this will also reduce the furballs scattered around your home, saving on the amount of cleaning you will have to do in the long-term. It could be a bonding moment between you two as well, so practice positive reinforcement during grooming sessions.
3. Prepare plenty of water The winter season may prove difficult for a dog to stay hydrated. Keep in mind that not enough water might lead them to have kidney infection. Dr. Kathy Quigley explained in an interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that owners should be worried if their dogs urinate inappropriately, because it is usually a sign of a kidney ailment. To avoid this, always have an immediate source of potable water for your pet.
4. Invest in a cozy bed Since your dog will spend most of its time indoors during the cold season, you should be mindful of where it sleeps. Inside Dog World warns to prevent your pooch from sleeping on cold floors. Instead, provide a warm and comfortable bed that your dog could snuggle up in. Ensure that it sits on a raised platform, away from cold floor tiles. Throw in a blanket as well for extra comfort.
5. Provide a proper outdoor shed In case your dog prefers the outdoors, see to it that there’s a proper place for it to retreat to. The Dogsaholic discussed several tips when building a proper winter shelter for the dog. First, make sure that the entrance to the shed doesn’t face a windy area. To keep the place insulated, consider installing polystyrene foam sheets on the walls. As for the rest of the interiors, lay down heat pads or straw shavings, as they do well in keeping your dog warm and dry.