Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy This Winter Season
With winter weather on the way, it's time to plan ahead in case you get snowed in. That means stocking your cupboards, having extra supplies on hand and making sure you have the right products for your dog. Dogs love wintertime, but a little extra care is needed during this frigid time of year. Before the coldest weather arrives, make sure you've got a plan in mind for your pooch. Here are five ways to keep your dog healthy and happy this winter season.
Stock-Up on the Right Pet Food
It always pays to stock-up on dog food so you'll never run out when the weather gets bad. Buying in bulk is a good idea and so is having it delivered right to your door. Like humans, dogs feel hungrier in the winter and may want to eat more, so make sure they're eating a high-quality, or a raw diet, like Nature's Blend. Unless your dog is extra active in the winter weather, you may want to cut your pet's treats to avoid weight gain. Try to limit any table scraps, too, as dogs can pack on the pounds in the blink of an eye.
Watch the Thermometer
Most dogs love playing in the snow, but keep an eye on the temperature. Larger dogs with thick coats fare better in the cold than smaller dogs, but remember—all paws, ears and tails are susceptible to frostbite. If your dog is shivering, or hunched over, it's time to get her inside. Dogs that are more sensitive to the cold include miniature breeds, those with short hair and older dogs. Dogs with joint problems, or arthritis, also don't do well in the cold. When the temperature dips below zero, don't leave any dog outside longer than necessary.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Pets need clean, fresh water every day, but keep in mind they may drink as much as they do in the summer. Due to the warm, dry air inside your house, your pup may be particularly thirsty. If your dog is drinking more water due to low humidity, consider using a humidifier. Arid conditions also affect their skin and paws, so be vigilant for cracked, itchy patches. To promote moisture in their skin and for a healthier coat, try adding a bit of olive oil to a dog's food, or purchase an omega oil supplement.
Do Wintertime Dog-Proofing
If you're a first-time pet owner, you already know the importance of pet-proofing your home, but winter presents a few of its own challenges. Make a quick trip through your house and look for any potential dangers such as the fireplace, space heaters or hot radiators. A pet could become seriously burned by coming into contact with any heating unit. During the holiday season, also keep any Christmas plants such as holly and mistletoe out of reach, as well as ornaments and garland.
Be Wary of Ice
While humans may struggle staying upright on ice, the same can happen to your furry friend. To avoid taking a tumble, steer clear of icy surfaces where a dog can slip and become injured. This is especially important in older dogs with leg or hip issues. While you're out for your walk, avoid treading over areas treated with chemical ice melt. This toxic substance sticks to a dog's paws where he could lick it and become extremely ill. If your dog ingests ice melt, call your vet immediately.
Make Winter Safe
While winter with your dog can be great fun, make sure it's also a safe season. Preparing for inclement weather by stocking-up on supplies and doing a little extra dog-proofing can make it all the better. Remember to always check the temperature for icy conditions and never leave your dog outside for extended periods. By simply remembering that your dog wants to be as comfortable and cozy as you do, you'll have a healthy and happy pup all winter long.