As the winter months approach, the temperature drops drastically. Just like us, dogs require special care to stay healthy and warm.
Most pet owners think that dogs can tolerate the bitter cold better than humans, as they have a fur coat. But, unfortunately, this is not the case! Canines do feel cold, and exposure to colder temperatures can turn hazardous for these furry pets.
Winter Care Tips For Dogs
This post will guide you on how to keep your Dog safe from the harsh winter hazards.
How To Find Out If Your Dog is Feeling Cold?
The first sign to look for that a canine is feeling too cold is – it starts shivering. Shivering is a natural way for a body to produce heat. The other signs include dull moments, low energy, and not interested in going out to play.
Just like humans, dogs can also tolerate the cold to a certain degree. The tolerance of cold varies based on overall health, breed, body fat, age, coat density, and size.
How To Groom Your Dog For Winter?
When it comes to your canine companion’s sensitive parts such as the nose and the ears, they require special care. The ones with short noses tend to feel colder. Your mutt needs to be well-groomed to stay adequately insulated.
1. Sooth a Dog’s Nose
Dog’s skin tends to become dry during the winter. If your Dog shows any irritation or if their nose appears to be dry and cracked, apply natural oils to soothe the area. Using a humidifier will keep the air from drying out, thereby preventing their nose from cracking.
2. Don’t Trim or Shave Long-Haired Dogs
The breeds that require frequent grooming should maintain their hair as thick and long as possible during the cold seasons. If you’re residing in the colder regions, you should avoid shaving their hair. A Dog’s thick coat will keep them clean and warm.
3. Bathe Dogs in Warm Water
Bathe your Dog in warm water, and make sure to dry them quickly. Consistent light bathing will help keep the germs, fleas, and dirt away during the winter months. Also, never allow your hounds to venture outside with a wet coat as their mane may get frozen and hypothermic.
4. Winter Eye Care for Dogs
During dry winters, as the air dries out, you may notice redness in the eyes of your canine Pet. Make sure to use a dog eyewash to get rid of the redness.
5. Winter Paw Care for Dogs
As it becomes cold outside, your dogs end up having rough and cracked paw pads. Make sure to apply only a quality foot balm to soften the paws and apply petroleum jelly before taking them outdoors.
Trim the hairs around the paws and pads to keep ice from accumulating on their fur or between the places causing pain. If they show any discomfort while walking on frozen surfaces, use dog booties to keep their paws well protected.
Winter Care Tips for Dogs | Common Winter Illnesses in Canines
Cold winter weather affects humans and causes sickness among pet animals if they stay out for long. Here are some of the common illnesses they face, along with the symptoms and cure.
Hypothermia takes place when your Dog stays outside for long, resulting in a drop in body temperature.
Symptoms of Hypothermia include Weakness, tiredness, and shivering.
If Hypothermia was to set in, please wrap your Dog in a warm blanket and quickly take them to the Vet.
Frostbite happens when your furry friend’s body becomes too cold due to standing in the snow for long. Frostbite often causes tissue damages to the ears, tail, and paws of the Dog.
Symptoms of Frostbite include Weak pulse rate, slow breathing, and drowsiness.
If Frostbite was to set in, apply warm water on the affected areas, and immediately take your pet to a Vet.
Kennel cough is a contagious respiratory illness caused due to viral or bacterial infection.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough include Dry cough, fever, and running nose.
If your Dog is showing Kennel Cough symptoms, please use steam treatment and give them sufficient rest. If symptoms persist, take them to the Vet.
Winter Care Tips for Dogs | Winter Clothes for Dogs
As the temperature drops below 0°, you canine friends will spend most of their time indoors to avoid the extreme cold. However, there may be times you have to take them out for walks. To prevent Frostbite on your Dog, cover them up using a warm coat or sweater.
Let’s have a look at some of the warm clothes that will come in handy.
Suppose your pet is not interested in going out for walks or keeps whining. Dogs know better than us what is not suitable for them. Get a nice pair of winter boots for your Dog that will keep their feet from getting bruised or irritated in snow, ice and salt.
Sweater or Warm Coats
Some breeds that have thick coats may not find it hard to brace the cold blasts. As for the short-haired breeds, they find it difficult to cope with the cold weather. Getting a warm and cozy sweater or jumper will keep them from becoming hypothermic while they go outside.
Wrapping your pet dog with a thermal blanket is the perfect solution to keep them warm during the night. As the temperatures drop drastically after midnight, these blankets will give them added comfort.
6 More Handy Winter Care Tips for Dogs
If your dog becomes anxious, starts shivering, or looks for places to cuddle up, you need to pay extra attention to protect them from the chill.
Here are a few more winter care tips a dog owner can follow:
- Take them for walks only when the sun shines – that is during the early afternoon hours.
- Reduce the time spent outdoors to play as their tails, nose, and paws may get frostbites.
- The frosty weather may dehydrate your pet dogs. Make sure to keep them well hydrated by placing a water bowl nearby.
- People tend to think that dogs need an extra layer of fat during the winter to keep them warm. However, what they need is an extra layer of clothing.
- Avoid high-calorie foods and overfeeding as their activity levels are generally low during the frigid climates.
- Stay away from frozen streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds during the winter. As they walk over the frozen water, the thin ice may break and result in Hypothermia or drowning, leading to fatality.
The bitter cold blasts and wetness can create immense discomfort for your furry friends. As a dog owner, you need to ensure that they remain warm, healthy, and dry during the cold season. Please go through our guide “winter care tips for dogs” to ensure that your loyal canine companions enjoy the winter months to the fullest.