Hard as it is to believe, winter is just around the corner. If you’re a dog owner, you need to make sure that you need to make sure that your furry four-legged pal gets the proper care during winter.
Dealing with Fido on cold days: general advice
A good rule of thumb to follow when the weather turns chilly is to take your dogs with you when you go out…and then bring them back inside when you’re ready to return home. If your dog has to stay outside for significant lengths of time, make sure to provide them with shelter, thick bedding and lots of water. If the weatherman predicts an overnight hard freeze, play it safe and bring your dog inside.
Different canines have different levels of cold tolerance
Most longhaired dogs can spend more time outside than shorthaired breeds. It’s also important to remember, though, that if your smaller dog has long hair, he or she will get cold more quickly than the bigger dogs. Puppies and senior dogs will also be more vulnerable to the cold than healthy adult dogs.
Doggie sweaters are OK but…
If your dog lets you put a sweater on him or her, great! But you do need to remember that dogs lose most of their body heat from the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract. The best way to protect your four-legged pal from winter weather damage is to watch them closely and make sure they are comfortable.
Sick dogs need extra care in winter
Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hormonal imbalances can affect a dog’s ability to regulate body heat. If Fido isn’t in the pink, then he or she should not stay outside for long. Dogs suffering from canine arthritis should be treated with special care. The cold can make their joints extremely stiff and they may be more awkward than usual. Stay below these dogs as they are climbing stairs and be prepared to catch them if they slip as they try jumping up on furniture.
Winter is the perfect time to bring Fido into either the South Branch or Wells Branch Pet and Bird for a full nose to tail checkup. Our caring vets can help you keep your animal pal healthy, safe and happy all winter long. Contact us today!