Winter is coming, and before you retrieve your favorite winter wear from your basement, you may want to think about getting your dog ready for the chilly weather. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the cold weather presents serious threats to our pets’ health as dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. However, keeping your furry friend indoors may not be the best idea to keep your dog healthy as dogs need even just a few minutes outdoors for winter playtime. To keep your dog from getting sick in the coming months, here are 5 tips to prepare your dog for winter:
Get your pet a dog coat
Your pet may have a thick coat, but it’s still important to keep him or her warm during winter, especially while you’re walking your dog in the snow. A dog coat or dog sweater can help to keep your dog warm and comfortable. Have several on hand so you can change your pet’s outfit if it gets wet during your walk.
Protect your dog’s paws
Your dog’s paws can get awfully cold during the winter. Protect your dog by fitting him with dog boots to protect his feet from the icy ground. Plan on having several sets as constant contact with snow can make these boots wet and uncomfortable for your dog. You may also want to trim the hair around and between your dog’s toes to keep the snow from collecting in them.
Keep his bed warm
Your dog needs a warm place to burrow during the winter months. Keep his bed warm by placing a soft, warm blanket on it and place the bed in the warmest spot in your home. However, if you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure not to put your dog’s bed too close to it as sparks may fly out of the fireplace and hurt your pet.
Never let your dog eat the snow
Dogs are curious creatures, and they have the tendency to chew on anything, including snow. Make it a point never to let your dog eat snow because it can cause stomach problems and hypothermia. Moreover, snow that’s found in highly populated areas may have antifreeze in it, and even a small amount of antifreeze can be dangerous for your pet.
Feed your dog
Your dog needs food to burn calories to generate body heat during the winter months. If your dog is active during the winter, it’s a good idea to adjust his calorie intake to help your pet keep warm. Foods such as gently warmed stew and some baked doggy biscuits will keep your pet healthy and happy this winter. Don’t forget to let him chew on bully sticks to keep his teeth clean!
Keep your pet healthy this winter by following these tips. If you suspect that your dog is ill or has frostbite, make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Lucy Wyndham has been lucky enough to live with and work with dogs her entire life. She is more than a little puppy mad; especially when it comes to dog videos. She’s mostly had setters, spaniels, and Labradors, but through her work as a dog walker in her teens and while volunteering with several animal charities, she’s walked every kind of dog imaginable.