As winter approaches, you are ready to turn up the heat and break out the sweaters and hot chocolate to prepare for the cold months ahead. But did you know your dog also needs particular care for increased health and comfort during the winter months? Here are some simple cold weather pet care tips every dog owner should know.
1. Skip unnecessary grooming and baths
Your dog's coat is the main defense against the cold, so you should do your best to keep it healthy and thick when winter comes. Do not shave your dog down to the skin during winter, even if you plan on providing sweaters and other clothing for your dog to wear. Also, keep baths at a minimum. Too many baths will dry out your dog's skin, making them uncomfortable and itchy. Only bathe your dog when its absolutely essential.
2. Wash after walks
Winter roads and sidewalks can be uncomfortable for a dog. Sidewalks are often strewn with salt to prevent ice build up, and the salt can actually have a drying, stinging effect on your dog's feet. After walks, wash your dog's feet to remove lodged sand, salt, and ice. If possible, you might put your dog in booties for walks. it might seem silly at first, but your dog might appreciate the insulation and increased comfort of protection.
3. Plug in the humidifier
Do you ever feel like your hair and skin become irritated in winter because it is so dry? Your dog has the same problem. Plugging in the humidifier can help increase respiratory health during the winter (yes, dogs can get colds too), while also helping to keep your dog's skin, nose, and mouth moist in the dry winter air. Heating your home dries it out, which is why frequent trips in and out of the house can also have a drying effect. The humidifier helps solve this problem.
4. Increase food and water intake
Active, working dogs will need to burn more fuel during the winter to maintain the right body temperature. if your dog spend a good deal of the day outside, working, or exercising, talk to your vet about how much food your dog will need to stay healthy. You don't want to overfeed because this can cause obesity, but you don't want your dog to suffer because of lack of calories and nutrients.
For more information contact a vet clinic such as Elizabethton Veterinary Clinic.