Winter is almost officially here! Even though your canine pal is already wearing a fur coat, he’ll still feel the effects of those freezing temperatures. In this article, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses taking care of your furry buddy in winter.
Some dogs need to eat a bit more in winter than they do in warmer months. If your pooch is highly active, or spends a lot of time outdoors, he’ll burn more calories than usual just staying warm. Some of our canine friends will also benefit from taking certain supplements. For example, fish oil can help lubricate dogs’ bones and joints, which can be beneficial to pups with bone/joint issues, such as arthritis. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Did you know that brushing your pooch regularly can help keep him warmer on frigid days? Dead fur, dust, and dander all decrease the insulating abilities of your dog’s coat. Give your four-legged pal regular beauty sessions.
Fido is super cute when he’s snuggled up in his doggy bed, dreaming of chasing squirrels. Make sure your furry best friend has a comfy bed! Older dogs and pooches with thin fur may appreciate a thermal pet blanket, or even a heated doggy bed.
Snow, ice, sand, salt, and chemical de-icing agents can be pretty rough on Fido’s paws. You can try putting booties on your four-legged friend, though not all dogs will go for this. If your pooch doesn’t like wearing footwear, use paw balm or wax to protect those furry feet. Petroleum jelly will work as well.
Dogs with thin fur will need some extra protection against the cold. When shopping for Fido, avoid anything that may be tight, hot, or itchy, or could restrict his vision or movements. Choose items that don’t have small pieces, like buttons, that your pet may try to eat. It’s also a good idea to stick with machine-washable things.
Unless you have a snow dog, like a husky, your canine friend will probably spend most of his time indoors over the next several months. Don’t let Fido become a complete couch potato! Keep your pup active by playing games like Fetch indoors. (Note: you’ll of course want to pick areas without a lot of breakable objects.)
Please contact us, your local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!