How to care for your dog in winter
As the start of cold weather approaches, we all tend to take precautions so that low temperatures hardly affect us. Pets should not be left out of these precautions. That is why today we will tell you how to take care of your dog in winter.
Dogs and the cold
With the exception of some cold-resistant breeds like the Nordic ones , dogs suffer from cold temperatures, much the same as humans. Do not neglect your pup when the temperature drops.
Also, be careful if your dog has a disease, especially of respiratory origin, or if it is:
- A puppy
- An adult or senior
- A small breed
- A short-haired animal
A good diet to take care of your dog in winter
A nutritious, balanced, good quality diet is the foundation for both humans and pets to stay healthy. In cold weather, make sure you give your furry friend a food — whether homemade or commercial — that is appropriate to his size, age and particular characteristics.
A well-fed dog will have a high immune defense and his chance of getting sick will be lower. But do not confuse quality with quantity. Take care to not overfeed your pet. You will make him obese with all the negative consequences that this condition generates, both in people and in animals.
What is more, since your dog will most likely have reduced physical activity on days of extreme cold, pay close attention to how much food you put in his dish. When in doubt, ask the veterinarian for the appropriate amount.
Dogs suffer from cold as much as or more than people. That is why it is important that you take care of your dog in winter. Feed him a good diet, take care of his hygiene and protect him from abrupt temperature change, among other things.
Care during walks or for dogs that stay outside of the house
Ideally, when it is cold outside the animal will stay inside the house for a good part of the time. But if you need to leave him outside, try to make sure he is well protected. Provide a shelter for him that will keep him isolated from moisture, rain and cold.
Also, try to plan your walks at times when it is less cold. And on days when the temperature drops too low, reduce the length of the walks. Always put a coat on him and have a raincoat handy in case of rain or snow.
It is important to avoid sudden changes in temperature. It is not good when the animal was in a heated environment, and suddenly you take him into the cold, without any protection.
But, although the amount of time for outdoor exercise and play is reduced, seek — as much as possible — to keep your pet active. Choose a physical and mental activity that can be done inside the house.
Other precautions you should take with your dog in winter
A dog’s coat is one of the main tools it has to defend himself against inclement weather. So if the notion of acting as a stylist or taking him to the hairdresser appeals to you, postpone the cut until spring. Of course, brush him often to keep his coat well-groomed and to remove dead hairs.
When bathing him, do so in a warm place away from drafts. Even if he resists, use a hair dryer to avoid him being wet for a long time. If you notice that his paws and pads are cracked from the cold, apply a product recommended by your veterinarian.
Before the winter fully sets in, take your dog to the veterinarian to check all of his vaccines are up-to-date and he is free from parasites. It is very important that the animal is protected against kennel cough, as this can be a gateway to other and more complicated diseases.