The cold weather experienced during the winter season can make life unbearable for many. Your dog might belong to this category. It wouldn’t voice its opinion, but its body language says a lot about how inconvenient the cold is.
Some dog breeds have sufficient fur protection which keeps them warm; others don’t have enough. This leaves them at the mercy of the cold weather. Whichever category your dog might belong to, you can reinforce its protection against this afflicting climatic condition with these tips.
Tips to Prepare Your Dog for the Cold Weather
Coats could help
Your dog can get cold if it is exposed to the harsh weather long enough. With a decent insulator, you wouldn’t have to worry about the effect of the cold. A coat can serve. It would keep your dog warm without any problem though you will need to ensure it fits seamlessly with your dog’s physique. You don’t want your pooch to find it difficult walking.
A blanket can make all the difference
Most houses usually have a heating arrangement to ensure occupants are warm and comfortable. While an unexpected inflow of cold air would not faze humans, dogs without enough natural protection tend to become quite uncomfortable. Blankets can keep your dog warm during those thermally awkward times. If it is a small dog, burrowing into such covers provides it with all the warmth it needs.
Boots are compulsory
When taking your dog for a walk during winter, don’t leave out its boots. A dog’s paw lacks fur to provide it with the much-needed heat. A few dog breeds do have some amount of fur in this area, but such only complicate the situation when the snow gets into it. Dog boots deliver improved warmth to the paws of your four-legged friend, protection against the snow and all it contains including de-icers. Initially, your fluffy canine might appear uneasy, but this is only for a short while.
Outdoor activities can wait
Sometimes the weather is much worse than you thought. If you intend taking your dog for a short walk, you can always reschedule. The safety of your four-legged friend should not be compromised for anything. If your dog enjoys playing with snow, stamp your foot down and get it indoors. A treat is all you need to make up for your seeming impolite attitude.
Paw care shouldn’t be neglected
After walking your dog in the cold weather, you will need to tend its paws. If it went out without boots, it is important you moisturize its foot pads. When the paws make continuous contact with the ice visible during this period, the dog feels numb and might limb for an extended period if not well taken care of. In addition, there is the risk of your dog licking the chemicals on its paw. Homeowners have probably mixed such into the ice around their environs to make their driveway easier to ply. Letting your dog lick its paw after walking in the snow can have serious side effects on its health. You’d be better off avoiding routes which have been treated with chemicals.
Its furs need attention
Congratulations if your dog has a magnificent amount of fur on its body; it wouldn’t need coats within the confines of your home. What could be better than a natural thermal insulator? Well, your dog’s natural coat comes with its own obligatory demands. Your four-legged friend would normally have old fur which has refused to drop off its body. This will just take up space and not do a good job of keeping out the cold. You will need to brush its fur occasionally to ensure the older hairs are removed allowing for some new growth to occur. This will take some time, but it’s worth all the effort.
Know Your Dog
No advice can replace what you have learned about your dog. If your four-legged friend is cold-loving, you might not have to worry about taking a lot of precautions for its safety during winter. It has enough fur protection and has a thing for the outdoors. It will not often feel comfortable being limited to the interior of your home. Sometimes, to allow it enjoy the outdoor life without you worrying about its wellbeing in the cold weather, a dog house specially built to keep out the cold might be all you need.
Those ears are soft targets
The ears of your dog are its ‘underbelly’ in the winter. If your dog has been exposed to the cold for long periods, cleaning its ears with warm water could prevent a more serious health condition. Since this part of your dog is most susceptible to frostbites, keeping it dry and warm should be your target. Earmuffs can be of immense help to reduce the risk of infection within its ear canals.
Avoid frequent winter baths
Bathing your dog with warm water during winter might be great but the benefits of frequent baths are exaggerated. Frankly, with regular washing, your dog might lose some important oils. The result is its skin becomes dry, scaly and has cracks. Using shampoos recommended by professionals might come in handy in this regard.
Don’t let it go hungry
Heat is a form of energy produced by the conversion of another. This is elementary stuff! Your dog will stay warm based on the heat produced by the transformation of energy in food. Calories, as they are often called, can ensure your dog is not severely affected by the cold. Eating is the one way your dog can replenish its energy stores. Treats and more treats are recommended. Your dog will love this approach. However, this comes with one singular repercussion: extra dog walking routines after the winter season.
Finally, endeavor to understand the actions of your pooch. If the cold is getting to it, its behavior would speak volumes. Keep in mind that your dog is affected just as adversely as you are by the really low temperatures observed during winter. But unlike you, it has to depend on someone else for its safety and wellbeing.