Although our dogs are naturally gifted with fur to keep them warm, this may not be enough in the cold winter months. When the colder months start to kick in, keeping dogs warm should be the priority of every pet owner. We have to make sure that our dogs have sufficient warmth to be comfortable and healthy during the cold season.
Our dogs are exposed to many health risks during the colder months of the year. Here are some of them:
Hypothermia is a condition wherein the body drops to an extremely low temperature. When our dogs are exposed to harsh cold temperature for an extended period, they are most likely to get hypothermia which may lead to more serious complications. Hypothermia can be a result of prolonged exposure to weather, wet fur, and submersion to cold water for a long time.
Frostbite is typically characterized by bluish pale skin, redness and peeling on the affected area, and in extreme cases, black skin. It usually affects the extremities like the toes, tails, and ears of your dogs. Although frostbite may not be a severe condition, it should be immediately addressed as it may result in hypothermia.
Dogs can also be affected by colds which are caused by different viruses. Dogs, like humans, are more susceptible to catching colds during the winter months. Some of the symptoms of dog colds are sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.
Kennel cough, also called canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a respiratory disease that is caused by either bacteria or viruses. It is highly contagious and can spread among dogs living in close quarters. Some of the symptoms of kennel cough are hacking and harsh coughing that sounds as if your pet is choking. This may be accompanied by other symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing.
Tips on Keeping your Dogs Warm
To avoid these illnesses, here are some tips on how to keep your pets cozy and warm during the cold season.
Dress them in warm clothes.
Like humans, dogs are also affected by cold weather even if they have additional fur for warmth. Small dogs or short- haired breeds may need extra clothing when outside and even when indoors. Keeping dogs warm can be as simple as dressing your dog in dog clothes like shirts, sweaters and coats.
Provide your dogs with warm bedding.
Another way of keeping dogs warm is to provide them with warm bedding. Give them extra blankets and make sure their sleeping place is elevated from the floor which tends to be cold when not carpeted. There are also heat pads available for extra cold nights. If you have a puppy, do make sure that he will not chew on the bedding that you provide.
Limit your dog’s time outdoor.
Even though your dog may have a naturally thick coat, other parts of his body are exposed to the cold. Noses and ears are subjected to the cold as well as the paws on cold surfaces. Your dog’s time outside should always be monitored in cold weather.
Wipe your dog’s paws.
The ice, salt and other de-icers can collect on your dog’s feet. So, it is important to wipe down your dog’s paws with a towel every time that he enters the house from the outside in snowy weather. Check your dog’s pads frequently during the winter months since ice can cause cracks or bleeding on them. .
Go outside when the sun is out.
Take advantage of days when the sun is out and shining. Take your dog out for a walk during the late mornings to mid-noon when it’s warmer. If the sun has not been out for long, just ensure that your dog still gets some exercise indoors. Get them some dog toys and play games to stimulate blood flow.
Lastly, make sure you give your dogs some extra TLC during the cold winter months. Cuddling with your babies is an inexpensive and easy way of keeping dogs warm.
Let Positive Paws Training Help You
To help prepare and train your dogs during the cold months of the year, bring them to a trusted dog training company like Positive Paws Pet Training. Make sure your dogs are well-behaved and trained well by providing them with quality dog training and behavior classes.
If you are in the St. Charles and St. Louis area, bring your dog to Positive Paws Training for a consultation with Kimberly Gracner. You may also call 636-352-3104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.