A blizzard of freezing weather can be intolerable for any living being. When exposed to cold weather, our animal pals are vulnerable to frostbite (frozen skin and tissue) and hypothermia (low body temperature), much like us humans. Even when a dog has a dense, bulky coat, it may not be enough to keep them warm in the winter, and they may feel cold.
Many dogs will still go for walks regardless of the weather, and many of them will enjoy strolling in the snow. The cold-weather sensitivity of a dog varies based on their physical make-up, level of physical activity, and health. But frequent indications to watch for include shivering, stooped posture with a tucked tail, excessively cold ears, nose, raising a paw off the ground, and a reluctance to continue walking. When it's icy, snowing, and freezing outside, it's crucial to take extra care of your dog.
There are many ways you can keep your dogs safe and comfortable during the coldest days of the year. Here we present five such tips that you can adopt for the safety of your furry best friend.
Safeguard and Clean their Paws
Whenever a dog's paws remain uncovered throughout the winter, they are susceptible to cracking, dryness, and frostbite. Furthermore, hazardous compounds in antifreeze, coolants, and road salts, such as ethylene glycol. They may consume the toxins if they lick them. Therefore, keep a watchful eye out for limping, licking their feet excessively, and inflammation between the pads. Dog boots with unique designs are a terrific way to keep your dog's paws clean and dry. Dog boots, like jackets, come in a variety of brands, colors, sizes, and designs, so you'll have no trouble finding the ideal pair.
However, some dogs may need some time to adjust to wearing them. Most dogs will joyfully slide their paws into their boots, but some may be hesitant, so it's better to introduce them slowly. While they walk indoors, wash and dry their paws. It will remove any possibly dangerous chemicals from their feet, as well as prevent moisture from seeping under their nails and developing an infection.
Get a Comfortable and Cozy Dog Mat
Furry dog mats can keep pets warm and cozy while they rest. It is a perfect place for your four-legged friend to snuggle up during cold and wintry days. These mats are available in varying sizes and shapes in the market. Get the one perfect for your dog!
Cover them with Warm Outfits
Because scratchy, flaky skin is common in winter conditions, the warmer, your dog is, the less difficulty they will experience. Dry your dog and clean the snow from their body and between their footpads when they enter the home. Pups, elderly dogs, and short hair dogs require special assistance to control their winter's internal heat. Purchase a coat or sweater for your short-haired dog as these may be a really lovely accessory that will make the pet more cozy and warm.
If they are long-haired, do not groom them; instead, keep their long, fluffy coat clean to prevent snow and ice from sticking to their fur. Fur is a naturally insulating material, so it may help keep your dog warm in the winter. A double coat is common in many breeds, with an outer layer of guard hairs to defend from the weather and a downy under-layer to retain heat. Also, increase the protein and fat in your pal's diet to maintain their coat healthy during winters.
Don't leave the Pet Outside for Long
In the winter, no dog should be left outside for long periods. A thick coat does not protect every area of the body. Shortening your walks on exceptionally cold days will prevent your dog from being exposed to cold temperatures. If the weather is over 20° F, a reasonable rule for healthy medium to big dogs is to walk them for 30 minutes. Smaller dogs should only be out for 20 minutes at a time. If you can't bring your outdoor dog inside, ensure they have a warm, wind-protected shelter and constant access to freshwater. A good kennel should have three enclosed sides, be high off the ground, and have enough flooring like straw or hay.
Keep them Well-fed and Hydrated
During the cold weather, indoor dogs are more prone to sleep, less activity, and count down the days until spring. They also burn fewer calories because they sleep more and move less. Dogs waste more energy when they have to strive to keep their bodies warm, so you may need to supplement their regular meal with extra nutritious dog food. Consult your veterinarian about your dog's calorie consumption to know if any adjustments to your dog's food are required to get them through the winter. Freshwater is essential for dogs. One should use warm water bowls so that the water does not freeze.
Remember that your pet may dislike the cold much more than you do. But there are many things you could do to simplify things for them using the tips mentioned above. Being outside during winters can be an absolute delight for you and your pup if you know how to prepare your pet.