Keeping your pet safe and healthy during the winter months is going to require a little extra work on your part. While many breeds are incredibly resilient to cold weather, there are some situations that can be dangerous for dogs of any type. Here is a look at a few tips all dog owners should keep in mind when the weather begins to cool off.
Dogs should never have their coat completely shaved off during the fall or winter. Even if your dog will primarily be indoors, a few minutes in the snow or rain could be deadly if they have no fur. Dogs that have longer hair will generally only need to be trimmed once or twice in the winter. If your dog has shorter hair, then you might want to consider investing in a doggy jacket or sweater.
Bringing Your Pup Indoors
According to the Humane Society of the United States, it is actually the transition from a cold and wet environment outside to the dry heat inside that can hurt a dog's skin. As you bring your dog back inside, it is important that you immediately wipe them off with a towel and apply an anti-itch spray gel from Roxy’s Remedies or a similar provider. This will prevent their skin from flaking or becoming itchy. Families with an especially dry home should consider using a humidifier to further protect their dog's skin.
Avoiding Cold-Weather Chemicals
Not many pet owners realize just how many chemicals their dogs are exposed to during the winter months. In addition to de-icing products that are often found on sidewalks and streets, rain and snowfall can wash chemicals off of cars and homes. All spills should be cleaned up before you let your dog out of the house, and their play area should be inspected at least a few times a week.
Changing Their Diet
Dogs burn quite a few calories during the winter months in order to maintain their body temperature, and this means you should be giving them a little extra food. This is especially important for dogs that will be spending a good amount of time outdoors. Pet owners should also check the water once or twice a day to ensure that it is not frozen or too cold for the dog. Metal bowls should be avoided during the winter as the dog's tongue can become stuck to the metal.
By taking these few precautions, you can make sure that your dog will remain happy and healthy no matter the weather outside.