Tips to Take Good Care of Your Dog in Winter
Many dog owners are misled by the idea that because dogs have a “built-in coat”, there is nothing they need to do to take care of Fido during the cold winter months. But nothing could be further from the truth. Because your dog can’t look out for his own best interest and welfare, he/she depends on you to do it for him.
You may not even know that the cold, dry air of winter, the rain, and the snow can cause various discomforts and even dangers for your dog, such things as.
- Itchy, flaky skin
- Chapped paws – even frostbitten paws
- Illness from licking chemicals intended to melt ice from their paws
- Poison from spilled or leaked anti-freeze
No one wants to expose their “best friend” to these or other winter hazards, so I have composed a list of ideas that will help you plan and prepare to give your pup a little extra protection during the winter months.
Winter Care Tips For Your Dog
- Keep your dog well groomed. Even though it’s winter, your dog still needs a bath. Because the air is drier in the winter, you may want to bathe him a little less frequently to avoid drying out his skin. Just be sure that he is dried thoroughly before going outside. A wet dog, outside, is more prone to hypothermia.
- Use a moisturizing shampoo
- Remove the mats from his coat…most people don’t realize that a dog’s coat keeps him warm by trapping the warm air next to his body, but mats in their coat will not trap the warm air as it should.
- Keep your dog’s fur at a winter length, don’t shave him down to the skin like you might during the summer. Even indoors, your dog can use the extra protection.
- Brushing your dog’s coat frequently will not only help remove flaky skin, but will also stimulate for good circulation.
- Invest in a coat or sweater. Just because your dog has his own coat, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t benefit, and be more comfortable, by having an extra layer, especially short haired dogs. If it’s too cold for you to go outside without a coat, it’s probably too cold for your dog also.
- Pay attention to your dog’s behavior to know if he is too cold, watch for shivering, the appearance of anxiety or whining.
- If you’re taking your dog for winter walks, choose the sunniest, warmest times of day to go.
- Clean his paws after a winter walk. Because of the chemicals and salts that people use to remove ice, it is important to clean not only their paws, but their bellies to prevent stinging and irritations, and to prevent them from licking off the toxic chemicals.
- When drying the paws, check for cracked pads, you may want to apply Vaseline before a winter walk to protect them, or you could purchase booties.
- Keep your dog hydrated. We all know the risks of getting dehydrated in the summer, but it’s important to realize that your pup can just as easily get dehydrated in the winter.
- Eating the snow is not a substitution for a bowl of water. In fact, try to avoid letting him eat snow because you don’t know if it has been tainted with chemicals or even contain hidden, sharp objects that could cut his mouth.
- Never leave Fido in the car alone. Just like a car’s interior can overheat during the summer, it can trap the cold during the winter and act like an ice box.
At BowWow Fun Towne we take the well-being of your dog seriously and do our best to take good care of them no matter what time of year it is.
For all your doggie daycare needs, Contact BowWow Fun Towne, you’ll find plenty of great activity, appropriate toys, and exercise here to help keep your dog happy while you’re away.