5 Tips on How to Get Your Dog Prepared for Cold Weather
During the winter it is very important to think of the well-being of your pet since the cold and dry air can cause multiple issues for your pet such as dry respiratory tracts and eyes, itchy and flaking skin, or chapped paws.
While some breeds are better prepared to handle winter conditions than others, the tips we have prepared for you below will help any dog and its parent to be better prepared for the cold weather.
Limit time spent outdoors
If possible, you should try to keep your pet indoors, off the floor and as far as possible from drafty areas. You can invest in a cozy dog bed and for pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, it is crucial for them to have a warm refuge where they can sleep and rest. You can either purchase a dog house that is built for the cold or insulate their current house properly.
You can also install a dog door to let your pet come back inside once it is done playing in the snow. Some of the best dog doors for cold weather are those that are properly insulated to prevent the winter cold from getting into your house.
Get a coat
For breeds that don’t have a natural winter coat as is the case with Huskies, for example, it is very important to keep them warm if you intend to take them outside. There are many types of pet winter coats available for dogs of any breed, size, and age.
What’s important when purchasing a coat is to make sure that it is warm yet breathable so that your pet can run, play and exercise without overheating. Similarly, the coat should not limit your dog’s freedom of movement, it should still be able to walk and run comfortably.
Bathe less frequently
During the cold-weather months, it is best to try and limit the number of times that you bathe your pet since washing the coat too often can remove the protective oils and that will make the skin more susceptible to becoming dry and flaky.
You should also try not to trim the pet’s coat in the winter especially since dogs naturally develop a thicker coat during this time of year that’s designed specifically to trap the air and keep the body warm. You can instead trim (but only a bit) dogs who are naturally long-haired to minimize clinging ice balls when walking outdoors.
Keep the paws clean and dry
After each walk, you should take the time to wash and dry your pet’s feet and its stomach so that you can remove ice, salt, and other chemicals that are used to melt the snow on sidewalks. If left unwashed, the paws can develop chronic dryness.
Another solution to this problem is to invest in a pair of pet shoes. These products tend to provide better adherence but it can take a while for your four-legged companion to get used to them but after that, they can really make walks in the winter more fun for both of you.
Keep your dog well-fed
Dogs burn plenty of calories when playing outdoors but in the winter they will be using even more to stay warm. As such, you should try and give them a few extra treats during the cold months. Conversely, pets who spend most of the winter months indoors will need to be fed less.
Furthermore, outdoor pets need to have plenty of non-frozen water readily available to them so that they can stay well-hydrated. Try to monitor the bowls and replace the water if you notice that it has a layer of ice on top. You should also use a plastic bowl outside since metal ones freeze and can hurt your dog’s tongue.