Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Winter is coming fast! Your canine buddy may have a fur coat on, but he’ll still feel the effects of the cold. In this article, a Crown Point, IN vet discusses keeping Fido happy and healthy in winter.

Paws

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all be pretty rough on your fuzzy buddy’s paws. Get some pet-safe de-icers, which are much easier on Fido’s furry feet. You may also want to put paw balm on your dog’s paws to protect them. This will also keep them moisturized in winter’s dry air.

Clothes

Dogs with thin fur often need some extra protection from those frigid temperatures. Before you go to pick out clothes for Fido, take his measurements. Text them to yourself, or snap a photo of them. That way, you’ll always have them with you.

Food

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, or is a working dog, he may need bigger portion sizes at this time of year, as he’ll burn extra calories just staying warm. Senior dogs, and pups with bone/joint issues, such as arthritis, may also benefit from certain supplements. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate your dog’s bones. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Exercise

Your pooch may spend most of the winter indoors, but don’t let him become a complete couch potato. Exercise is very important to Fido’s health and well-being! Play Fetch indoors, or hold a laser pointer for your furry pal to chase. It’s also important to make sure your pet has lots of fun toys.

Bed

Make sure your canine pal has a comfy bed to snuggle up in on cold nights. Dogs with thin fur may appreciate heated beds and/or thermal pet blankets.

Fur

Did you know that dead fur and dander actually decrease the insulating properties of Fido’s fur? Brushing your pup regularly will not only keep his fur smooth and shiny, it will also help keep him warm.

Limit Outdoor Time

Keep Fido indoors as much as possible on cold days. Dogs are much better off staying warm and cozy indoors! (Note: if you have a snow dog, like a husky, your canine companion may love playing in the snow, but that’s the exception, rather than the rule.)

Please contact us, your Crown Point, IN vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to keeping your canine friend happy and healthy!

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