Many dog owners have the misconception that since dogs have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans and require no grooming at all. But the truth is, it is during winter time that your pet dog needs a little extra care. The obvious threat that comes with winter is lower temperatures. It is important to protect pets from being left outside too long and getting hypothermia.
To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, here are the winter care tips for dogs you can follow.
Keep paws clean-
Thoroughly wash and dry your dog’s paws after its walk, making sure to also clean the area between its toes. This gets off any de-icing chemicals that may be on your dog’s paws. Use this opportunity to inspect your pet’s paws for any cracks or redness. Once the paw is clean, you can apply a paw balm or petroleum jelly to sooth any irritation or treat dryness. Avoid using moisturizers made for humans, since this can soften paws and leave them vulnerable to injury.
Some dogs can be quite finicky about where they sleep. During the winter time, it’s important that they have a warm place to sleep away from cold floors. Pick a spot that is away from any doors or windows that may have a draft. Dog breeds are different, however, and may have different levels of thermoregulation. Provide a variety of sleeping spots for them to choose from, in case they get too hot or too cold at night.
Protect your dog from heaters-
Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking doggy out of any sort of harm.
Any time your dog is wet, whether it’s from playing in the snow, running in the rain, or just following a bath, make sure to dry him thoroughly. In the winter this becomes especially important because your dog is just as susceptible to chills as you are.
Grooming and routine inspections-
A dog's coat tends to mat and tangle more during winter. Fur that is matted and ungroomed is less able to retain heat and cannot adequately protect your dog from the elements. Harsh winter conditions can dry your dog's coat and skin. Conducting a wellness exam with your veterinarian can do a lot of good for your dog’s health during the chilly months.
Change the drinking water often-
Like us, even dogs feel less thirsty in winter. And that is more so because the water in their drinking bowl turns ice-cold very soon and they don't feel like drinking it. It's advisable to replenish the old water with fresh, room-temperature water every 2-3 hours.
Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple winter care guidelines for Dogs.