It’s safe to say that the winter period can present a range of problems for your dog, and even though many breeds come with their own thick fur which helps to keep them warm and toasty, it’s important to consider the various effects that cold weather can have on your dog.
In this guide, we’re going to share some tips and advice that will help you to keep your beloved pooch happy and content throughout the winter, so let’s get straight to it.
Tip 1 – Purchase a Warm Winter Coat
While your dog may come with a thick coat of fur, there are many breeds that can greatly benefit from having a warmer dog coat in those cold weather environments, especially when you’re taking them outside for a walk.
Of course, smaller breeds can be particularly susceptible to cold weather, so it’s well worth purchasing a coat that keeps them nice and cozy as a high priority.
You can also purchase a variety of dog sweaters that’ll keep your pooch warmer throughout the day, and these are definitely a great buy for general use, as your dog can also wear them around the house if they’re prone to feeling the cold.
Tip 2 – Look After Their Paws
Another part of your dog that can be very vulnerable to cold weather is their paws, and if they are walking on the cold floor, this can soon cause pain and discomfort on their pads, with the worst-case scenarios leaving them raw, or even cause their skin to tear.
A useful trick for coping with this situation is to simply rub some petroleum jelly over your dog’s paws before you take them out for a walk, and this added layer of protection will certainly be greatly appreciated by your dog. Furthermore, there are several high-quality wax-based products that are specifically designed to protect a dog’s paws, and these are definitely a worthwhile investment.
Additionally, you could even invest in some dog booties, and this can definitely help some dogs a great deal, so this is another avenue that’s well worth exploring. In fact, certain climates will make dog boots an absolute necessity, particularly if you have a breed that’s prone to vulnerable pads.
Finally, general paw care will always be extra important in the winter period, so making sure their paw hair is trimmed, their nails are clipped, and their paws are kept dry is essential.
Tip 3 – Make Their Bed Warm & Inviting
It’s often a good idea to add some extra blankets to their bed during the winter, as this will allow them to snuggle up and get warm and comfortable.
The night time can also be a problem when the temperature drops, so making sure their bed is as cozy as possible will go a long way towards keeping them happy and content throughout the winter period.
However, it’s not wise to use electric blankets for your dog, as these can get warm very quickly and can even lead to burn injuries in some cases, so it is best to avoid them overall.
Another useful thing to do is to make sure your dog’s bed is placed in a safe location, ideally in a warm area and off the bare floor, especially if you do not have a carpet. You’ll also want to make sure their bed is not subject to any drafts that may be blowing through your house.
Tip 4 – Give After-Walk Care
During the warmer months of the year, your dog can generally look after themselves when you get home from a walk, but the cold weather will often require some degree of after-care from you as well.
If your dog has become wet, then it’s important to dry them quickly so they don’t suffer any discomfort, and you’ll also want to do your best to warm them up once you’re indoors.
Tip 5 – Consider Fewer Bath Times (Your Dog Will Be Thrilled!)
The next tip is something that your dog will be thrilled to learn, and it’s the simple fact that giving your dog too many baths in the winter period can often be detrimental to their overall health.
Of course, dry skin can be a problem for humans during winter, and this can also affect your dog. With this in mind, it’s important to not indulge your dog in too many baths so their skin doesn’t become too dry.
Tip 6 – Use a Dog-Friendly Moisturizer
If your dog is particularly vulnerable to dry or sensitive skin, then you may want to think about buying a doggy moisturizer that will help to keep their skin and coat in great shape throughout the winter time.
Now, you won’t want to use human-focused products for your dog, so purchasing a specific dog moisturizer product is usually the best thing to do.
Furthermore, your dog’s ears can be very vulnerable to the cold weather, especially during a dog walk, so you may want to apply some quality moisturizer to these areas and monitor how their ears are coping throughout the winter period.
Tip 7 – Be Considerate of Older Dogs
Similar to humans, dogs can be vulnerable in the winter period as they get older, so it’s wise to pay very close attention to the health and well-being of an older dog during those colder months.
In general, arthritis can be especially problematic in the cold weather for both humans and dogs, so making sure your dog doesn’t have to contend with any wet or slippery surfaces will be important. What’s more, it’s wise to consider purchasing a joint supplement that can help to ease some of the pain and discomfort your dog may be feeling in the cold weather.
Tip 8 – Be Careful With Heaters
If your home is starting to feel colder in the winter time, then your dog may naturally seek out the warmest place to spend their time. However, if this warm place is a potential safety hazard, such as an open fireplace, then make sure that it’s well guarded against your pet.
Your dog may also choose to sleep near radiators or space heaters, so it’s vital to make sure they cannot get themselves burned or make themselves too hot by spending too much time in these areas.
Tip 9 – Know Your Dog’s Limits
While most breeds can handle some degree of cold weather, you don’t want to spend more time in the cold then you need to, particularly if you have a smaller breed or an older dog who can be more vulnerable in the wintertime.
Aim to keep dog walks to dry surfaces whenever possible, and don’t take long walks if the weather is not suitable for it.
Ultimately, spending more time with your dog indoors and keeping them mentally stimulated through games and play may be better during the winter period, especially if you live in a very cold part of the country. But with the appropriate attire and planning, you should still be able to enjoy winter walks with your dog.