Winter’s Chill Affects Fido Just as Much as the Pet Owner

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October 16, 2018


Winter’s Chill Affects Fido Just as Much as the Pet Owner

Depending on the region, winter can be either mild or downright miserable. Fido may appreciate a few snow angels outdoors, but pet owners must be diligent about the time spent outdoors. Dogs may look immune to the cold with that thick fur, but they can develop issues if they get too cold. Prepare the family pet today for a long winter in the next few months.

Gauge the Weather With the Skin

Preparing for winter means that pet owners must be aware of the conditions before their pups head outdoors. A dog daycare professional might suggest a test with the owner’s skin. Go outside for a few minutes with standard coats or jackets on. If the Lakewood neighborhood is too cold with that jacket, the surroundings are extreme for the dog.

Consider a walk or playtime during the warmest part of the day. An afternoon adventure will be comfortable for everyone outside. Early morning or late afternoon can be too cold for most canines.

Use Clothing Sparingly

For some dog owners, an automatic reaction to the cold weather is to purchase clothing for the pup. Golden, CO, may be chilly during the winter, but there’s no need to pile on the sweaters.

Allow the dog to use its fur for what it’s designed to do: insulate the dog’s body heat. If an extended adventure is planned for the outdoors, a basic sweater is appropriate for the situation.

Dog daycare experts strongly suggest to keep the pup within visual distance when the sweater is on, however. Leaving the pup alone with the clothing can lead to accidents where the material catches on an obstacle and injures the canine.

Try Dog Booties

A dog’s paws are a wonder of nature as they romp on practically any surface without any issues. However, extreme cold can damage the pads. Think about putting dog booties on the pet. They may feel strange at first. To combat any comfort issue, try the booties on when the pet is indoors.

Go even further by placing socks on the dog too. The elastic sensation around the dog’s paws and legs will slowly become normalized. Follow a dog training professional’s lead and check the tightness of the socks or booties. They should be snug but not too tight for proper blood flow.

Dryness Counts

The family pet will get wet during the winter. From rainstorms to romping in the snow, wet paws and fur seem to be the norm for many pets. As everyone retreats into the residence, be sure to dry off the dog.

Wet fur or paws can lead to chilly conditions for the dog, including time spent indoors. Towel it off and gently remove any icy pieces stuck to the pet. Leaving the animal wet will bring its temperature down and make it vulnerable to illness.

Avoid the Licking Scenario

There’s a serious concern for dogs when there are sidewalks, snow and salt involved. After walking the dog along the sidewalk, wipe off its paws. Salt will lodge itself in the pads where the dog will lick away at the substance otherwise.

Dogs can become sick when they ingest salt in this manner. A damp rag is the only tool that you need to wipe away salt and moisture from the pads.

Allow for Burrowing

The heat may be on in the home, but drafts can still be detrimental to the family pet. Give them a chance to regulate their body temperatures with ample towels and blankets. Many dogs enjoy the burrowing process where they dig and hide in a comfortable area. Offer the family pet a pile of old and clean towels. It can burrow itself into the blankets after a walk outdoors. Warming up and staying comfortable should be a priority for every family pet.

Hydrate all Winter

Most people don’t equate cold weather with hydration. Warm weather seems to associate these two concepts together. However, Golden pups need extra water throughout the winter to remain hydrated.

As cold weather sets in, humidity levels drop. Although dogs are covered with fur, they’ll lose moisture through everyday activities. Give them adequate levels of water so that they can lap up the moisture whenever they see fit. They can self-regulate their water intake as a result.

Increase the Calories

Pet owners might understand that they can eat extra calories during the winter because the cold forces the body to automatically burn more fat. This same concept applies to dogs living in Lakewood. Increase the pup’s calorie intake with a few treats. It might earn these treats by working on a new trick or simply enjoying a snowy day.

If the owners notice that the pup is actually gaining weight, reduce the number of treats. The idea behind extra calories is to maintain a healthy weight and not to gain more fat.

Speak With a Professional

A dog training professional is a great place to start when a family is concerned about winter preparation. These experts can go over local conditions, and when it’s appropriate to exercise the dog.

The trainers might suggest toys and other resources to stimulate the pup’s mind. Bored dogs during the winter can get curious and chew on indoor items that can make them ill. Giving the dog a purpose with regular interactions will keep it happy and healthy during the winter months.

Use common sense when the pup ventures outdoors. Winter offers wonders to the pet that its never experienced before, such as powdery snow and icy features. Allow the dog to enjoy the experience, but know when it’s time to go. Everyone can warm up and enjoy the time outside tomorrow. Winter will carry on for several months, which is to the delight of many canines.