Winter can be a tough time for everyone, especially your furry family members. Simply having a fur coat doesn’t make them automatically safe from the dangers of the cold season. Make sure you know how to care your dog this winter.
Best Practices to Keep Your Dog Healthy During Winter
The cold hits every dog differently, so do not push your dog past his limits. There are many factors that can play into a dog’s cold tolerance, like age, hair length, and size. Speaking to your vet is the best way to determine your dog’s health related issues, but if you see signs that your furry pal is not happy, then be sure to take them in right away. Signs to watch for include shortness of breath, difficulty walking or standing, and confusion.
Be Safe Outside
Not all dogs can be outside all day and night. If you must leave your dog outside for any amount of time during the cold winter months, be sure you have a few things necessary for his comfort and survival. A big one that is often overlooked is shelter. Sure, dogs have their own fur coat, but it is going to take more than a little hair to stop the bitter winds and cold rains. Fresh, non-frozen water is also a must for being outside. Be sure to check the water dish and refill as needed. A frozen bowl of ice is not considered fresh water.
Regular check-ups are a necessary part of every dog’s life, so you may as well schedule it just before the cold comes. This can be especially helpful if your best friend has health issues that may be aggravated by the cold weather. Be sure to ask about any medication changes and dosage changes, as well. Most veterinary clinics, like Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital, have staff that is well-educated in winter needs of pets.
Watch the Paws
A dog’s paws can be extremely susceptible to the dangers of winter. This is the one spot with no protection, yet it is against the cold, ice, and salt during winter. Keep walks to a minimum to help avoid excessive cold against the pads and always wipe any salt from their paws.
Keeping your dog healthy all year long is important. Make sure you take the necessary steps to help protect them this winter. The cold can be fun, but it can also be dangerous.