Winter Dog Care Tips

Now that winter is officially upon us I thought it might be good to get some tips on how to make winter as enjoyable for your dog as possible.

First off I want to say the best place your dog can sleep during the winter is in the house.   Now let’s talk about what you can do to take care of your dog if they are going to spend any time in the cold/snow.

That being said, if your dog is an outside dog or will spend a lot of time outside and has a double coat this winter, gets them out early so they can develop their winter coat in preparation.  Outside dogs also burn more calories, so you will want to give your dog extra food.

If your dog is going to be outside a lot, make sure that they have some shelter, a good effective way to help keep them warm is to put a bed in the dog house or add fresh straw for a bed *Not Hay*

It is important that you take some extra care during the winter; dogs require extra attention when exposed.  Never shave your dog during the winter months, keep the fur long and thick, and when you bathe him make sure they are completely dry before going outside.

Leave water outside for your dog, and make sure that it does not freeze. Your dog needs lots of regular, cool water to drink.  If you can’t change your dog’s water dish to keep it from freezing, then you may want to buy a heated water dish at your favourite pet store.

If your dog is small, doesn’t have hair or doesn’t have a thick coat your dog is going to get cold faster than dogs with thick, double coats.  If your dog gets cold easily, you could go and buy a sweater and/or some booties for him. Check them out at your favourite pet store.

When you and your pup are finished playing in the snow, check his or her paws, there may be snowballs stuck between their toes, especially if their foot hair is long.  You will also want to check for build-up on your dog’s ears, tail, and belly.  Little balls of very hard; icy snow and they can stick to the hair on your dog. This can be very cold and very painful.

To prevent paw snowballs, have your local groomer trim the hair on your dog’s feet and between the toes. All snowballs can be removed by using a warm washcloth to melt the snow.

If your dog walks on salty sidewalks or streets, be sure to rinse the salt off the bottom of his feet when you get home.  After a few walks on the salty sidewalks you may notice that your pups pads are starting to dry out and crack.  Help them out by putting a tiny bit of Vaseline on their pads to moisturize and prevent the cracking and the pain that follows.

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