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Caring for Your Dog In Winter

January 15 2017
Do you enjoy the cold? Or are you already counting down the days until spring? Just like people, dogs have widely varied opinions on cold weather. If you have a husky, your canine companion may absolutely love playing in the snow. A Chihuahua, however, probably won’t be quite so thrilled. Actually, winter can be a dangerous time for Man’s Best Friend! Here, a Oshawa, ON vet offers advice on caring for Fido in winter.

Cold

Fido may have a fur coat on, but that pretty fur won’t be as effective if it’s dirty or matted. Brushing your pup regularly won’t just keep him looking super cute: it will also help him stay warm. If your pooch has thin fur, he may need doggy clothes to protect him from the cold. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Diet

Some dogs need to eat more than usual in cold weather. If Fido is a puppy, nursing mama, working dog, or senior, or if he spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger serving sizes in winter. Some pups may also benefit from certain supplements. Ask your vet for more information.

Exercise

When it’s really cold out, you may want to keep Fido’s walks short and sweet. After all, long walks in cold weather aren’t necessarily very enjoyable! It’s important to keep your pet active, however. To get your canine buddy up and off the couch, play fetch indoors, or hold a laser pointer for him to chase. Just pick a spot without a lot of breakable objects!

Paw Care

Dogs can get painful burns or abrasions from walking on salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers. Use dog booties or paw balm to protect those furry feet, and choose pet-safe deicers. We also recommend wiping Fido’s paws down daily with a wet cloth.

Walking Safety

Snow and ice can hide dangerous objects, like cut glass, from sight. Be very careful when walking Fido in fresh snow! Also, avoid bringing him near frozen ponds, lakes, or rivers.

Comfort

Keep Fido warm and comfy by offering him a cozy bed to snuggle up in. If your dog is a senior, he may get very stiff and sore in cold weather. Ask your vet for advice on pain management options. Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your Oshawa, ON vet clinic, today!

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