There is no surprise that chilly weather conditions heavily increase the chances of getting sick. Dogs are susceptible to many different types of ailments during winter and they are far more vulnerable than human beings. Winter can have an adverse effect on both physical and mental health of your canine. As a responsible dog owner, it is paramount that you have an ample amount of information regarding different types of dog-related ailments, their symptoms and their possible treatment at home.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
The season of winter has a profound effect on the mental health of your dog. The gloomy, short days of winter can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). As the chances of getting out of the home decreased at this time, your barker starts missing those joyful playing hours outside the home. It heavily affects the mind of the energetic dogs and they start suffering from a sense of confinement.
⦁ Your dog will behave impatiently
⦁ He will sleep for long hours or short hours but not normal
⦁ Loss of appetite and aggressiveness
⦁ Indulge in destructive activities such as tearing your shoes, excessive barking etc.
⦁ Don’t leave your dog alone for long hours
⦁ Get him involved with different types of in-house games with dog toys
⦁ Make him active most of the time either by doing exercise with him or playing with him
⦁ Take him out for a short outing
As with human beings, dogs also get heavily affected by hypothermia during winter. Hypothermia usually happens because of the prolonged exposure to cold temperature. The length of time exposed to cold temperatures is a crucial factor.
⦁ Extreme shivering
⦁ Loss of consciousness
⦁ Unnatural body movement
⦁ Inability to response and drowsiness
⦁ Protect your dog from further heat loss by wrapping him with warm clothes
⦁ Move him gently to a warm, dry shelter as soon as possible
⦁ Prevent your puppy from going outside without your supervision
⦁ In the extreme conditions, consult with your veterinarian
⦁ After he is fully recovered, offer him the dog diets which are best to keep him fit
FrostbiteSimilar conditions that cause hypothermia can lead to frostbite. There are few particular body parts such as paws, ears and tails that get affected by frostbite. Spending long hours without any protection in the chilly conditions could cause ice crystals to form in the tissues and ultimately damage the cells.
⦁ Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
⦁ Skin turns a pale yellow or white
⦁ As the skin thaws, blood-filled blisters form and turn into thick black scabs
⦁ Your dog may faint or unable to walk and become stiff
⦁ Take your dog outside with proper clothing
⦁ Quickly defrost him with warm blanket
⦁ Give him hot food mostly liquid
⦁ Shift his shelter to a warm and cozy place
These three are perhaps the most common winter ailments dogs suffer during winter. Allergic reactions, infections and digestive problems are also quite common but they do not occur as frequently as hypothermia and frostbite. So throughout the winter month, take special care of your special friend in the most comprehensive way.