Winter is just around the corner. The temperatures are beginning to drop, and the frost is appearing on the rooftops. You've probably already started bringing your jackets and sweaters out of storage. While you're getting yourself prepared for the onslaught of cold weather, don't forget to prepare your dogs, too. Your canine companions will need additional love and attention to help keep them safe and warm this winter. Their fur coat isn't going to be enough to keep them warm, especially if you live in an area where freezing temperatures and snowy days are the norm. Here are four quick and easy tips you can follow to keep your dogs healthy.
Keep the Water Bowl Indoors
During the summer, you want to keep a bowl of fresh water outside for your dog. However, during the winter, the bowl of water should be brought in the house. While ice cubes might be refreshing to your dog during the hot days of summer, they're not going to be quite so refreshing during the winter. In fact, that frozen water may actually harm your dog's tongue. Go ahead and let your dog go outside for a few minutes each day, but leave the water in the house.
Increase Their Daily Activity
Dogs tend to get a bit lazy during the winter. That's because it's too cold to get outside and romp around, and the shorter days make fatigue set in. Unfortunately, that lack of activity can lead to health problems, including winter obesity. To prevent that, be sure to increase your dog's daily activity, even if you need to find fun things to do indoors. One fun activity is to hide a few healthy treats around the house, and make your dog travel room to room finding them.
Use Your Own Comfort as a Gauge
No one wants to be cooped up in the house all winter long, and neither does your dog. However, those frosty winter days can be hazardous for them, especially if they're not protected. Before you send your dog outside, test the weather yourself. Go outside with a light coat on. If your light coat doesn't keep you warm while you're outside, your dog's coat isn't going to be enough to keep it warm either. Be sure to put a sweater and booties on your dog before it heads outside.
Remember the Checkups
During the winter, you take precautions to protect yourself from cold and flu season. It's important to remember that your dog can get sick during the winter too. To make sure your dog stays healthy, schedule at least one vet appointment during the winter months. This will allow your veterinarian to catch minor health problems before they develop into something much worse.