While you get ready for winter and stock up on warm clothes, coffee and soups, we must not neglect the extra care and attention our loyal friends need. As the temperature dips gradually, our furry friends are more susceptible of falling ill due to abrupt temperature changes. Thus, pet parents have to be extra cautious about the requirements of their dogs. Here’s a list of 7 things you should keep in mind to make winters warm and pleasurable for your pet dog.
Fibre rich diet is a must
Your pet’s activities can get restricted because it is chilly outside. When exercise is less, your dog is bound to gain weight and burn less calories. Therefore, giving fibre rich food to your dog can be a good idea as it will regulate the bowel movement and keep the extra calories at bay. Warm the food a bit before letting your pet eat it. Keep your pooch well hydrated by giving him or her access to a water bowl.
Go outside when it’s sunny
Walk your dog during late mornings or early afternoon hours as the temperatures are warmer this time. When it is sunny, let your furry friend play outside and soak the goodness of natural vitamin D. You can also join your pet and benefit from some exercise and vitamin D.
Even dogs can get dry and flaky skin. Cold weather can actually do a number on your pet’s skin. Add a coat and skin supplement to its meal. For instance, fish and coconut oils can keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy. If you see your pet’s ears, paws or tail have become dry or cracking, you can also topically apply coconut oil.
It is imperative that you regularly groom your canine friend. Brush the fur of your dog regularly and keep a check for any dry or cracked skin that may be a side effect of the winter season. Likewise, nails trimming, dental cleaning and ear cleaning should be done frequently throughout the chilly days. Once your dog is back from his or her stroll, use a soft cloth and warm water to wipe his/her paws and paw pads.
Do not overfeed
Make sure that the extra layer you add on your dog is a sweater and not a layer of fat. If you have an indoor pet, do not overfeed it. Usually cold temperatures bring with them lazy behavior and the need for fewer calories. Observe your dog’s activity level and adjust his/her calories accordingly. For good energy and healthy coat, a high quality protein or whole foods are recommended.
During winters the floor becomes stone-cold. If your pet has a habit of sleeping on the floor, make sure he/she has a nice warm mattress or bed to sleep on. Also, keep in mind that the bedding should be regularly changed and washed to avoid bacterial accumulation. If he/she spends most of the time on the terrace, porch or balcony, ensure that proper shelter is provided to protect your loyal friend from the cold winds.
It is wide misconceptions that just like us, dogs to need warm clothing to stay warm. The fact is that all dogs do not need warm clothing, they are already warm because of the heap of hair they have on their bodies. Breeds such as German Shepherd, Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, Dalmatians and Golden Retrievers do not need warm clothing unless the temperature is below 0 degrees. However, some breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, Indian Pariah and Bulldogs need warm clothing.