Extreme cold can be very dangerous for almost all living beings. If you are a dog owner, you must take extra care to help your dog stay healthy during the winter. Extreme cold can be more harmful to dogs than humans or some other animals because dogs aren’t as well-equipped as humans to handle extreme cold. They have a thin layer of fur that isn’t enough against extreme weather. Being a responsible pet owner, you should do everything possible to create the best life for your furry friend. Here are 5 tips for you that can help your dog stay healthy during the winter.
5 Ways To Help Your Dog Stay Healthy During the Winter
As mentioned above, your dog can fall prey to cold-related health issues if proper care is not taken during extreme cold. These issues include hypothermia, frostbite, aggravated arthritis, weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition.
Different dog breeds need additional warmth in the winter. Long-haired dogs may not need a sweater or coat, but smaller or short-haired dogs must have an extra layer of protection! This is the most effective way to protect your dog when they go outside in extremely cold weather. Even with this extra layer, remember not to leave your dog outside for prolonged periods.
You should gift booties to your dog for saving its paws from extreme cold and salt irritation during winter.
While you can’t stay outside in the cold weather with your dog for too long, it’s still essential they receive regular exercise. Leaving exercise altogether can lead to the deterioration of the physical and mental health of your dog. Walks or jogs are the easiest ways to exercise, but it’s not always the most reasonable method in the winter. Taking your dog outside for a walk or jogging can lead to frostbite in the extremities.
When it’s too cold outside, try different playtime activities inside the house so your dogs can expel their energy. Mental stimulation is also very important. For this purpose, you can use different puzzles or homemade toys. Some puzzle toys contain hidden treats that are unlocked only when your dog solves the puzzle. The smell of treats will keep your dog motivated and engaged for hours. It’s important to maintain their exercise habits and have fun indoors.
Pay Attention to Their Paws
In the summertime, dog owners worry about their dogs walking on incredibly hot surfaces and must protect their paws. Similarly,there are some precautions you must take to help your dog stay healthy in the winter.
First, be aware of salt or ice-melting materials. Dogs instinctively lick their paws to clean them. While these items aren’t fatal to a dog’s overall health, they can irritate their paw pads and their mouth after they lick the area. Remember to place booties on your dog’s paws, or always clean their paws when they return inside after encountering ice-melting materials.
Next, remember to regularly groom their paws. Many long-haired dogs encounter ice balls between their pads and toes. The best way to avoid this is to regularly trim the hair on their paws so they can freely explore outside without worry.
Give Plenty of Water
Dehydration in both the summer and winter seasons is common in dogs. Always keep your dog’s water bowl filled with filtered water to further improve your pet’s life! Constant access to water throughout the day is the best way to keep your dog hydrated and healthy.
Use plastic bowls for food and water. Metal bowls can get really cold and your dog’s tongue may stick and freeze. Ensuring that your dog is eating and drinking normally is one way to help your dog stay healthy during the winter.
It’s likely your dog isn’t exercising as much in the winter as in the warmer months of the year. Short walks, limited playtime outside, and small exercises indoors aren’t the same as your dog’s long walks or hikes during the summer.
Pay attention to your dog’s exercise activity. A slight reduction in meal size will lower their calorie intake since they aren’t burning as many calories as they used to. This minuscule alteration will keep your dog happy and healthy throughout the winter!
In some cases, dogs may fall prey to malnutrition and lose some weight. In that case, here are best foods for dogs to gain weight.
Why do dogs need to be protected from cold weather in the winter?
Dogs are not as well-equipped as humans to handle extreme cold temperatures. They have a thinner layer of fur, which makes them more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Additionally, dogs are more likely to suffer from health issues such as arthritis and joint pain, which can be exacerbated by cold weather.
What are some ways to protect a dog from cold weather in the winter?
Owners can provide proper shelter, warm bedding, and access to food and water in cold weather. They should not leave their dogs outside for extended periods of time. They should also monitor their dogs for signs of hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related health issues and take them to a vet if necessary. Regular exercise can help to keep a dog healthy and happy during the winter.
Can dogs get hypothermia in the winter?
Yes, dogs can get hypothermia in the winter if they are not protected from the cold weather. Signs of hypothermia in dogs include shivering, lethargy, decreased heart rate, and shallow breathing. If a dog is showing signs of hypothermia, it should be taken to a vet immediately.
What should I do if my dog has been outside in cold weather for too long?
If a dog has been outside in cold weather for an extended period of time, it should be brought inside as soon as possible. Owners should check for signs of hypothermia or frostbite, such as shivering, lethargy, or discoloration in the ears, paws, or tail. If a dog is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite, it should be taken to a vet immediately. Owners should also provide a warm place for the dog to rest and access to food and water.
It is crucial to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of dogs by protecting them from cold weather. Pet owners should provide adequate shelter, warm bedding, and access to food and water during winter. If your dog has been outside, check for signs of hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related health issues. Visit your veterinarian immediately if necessary. Understanding the habits of your dog can help you take better care of them. In this way, you help your dog stay healthy during the winter.