It has become increasingly cold over the past week, and winter is officially here. Understanding and knowing your dog’s needs over the winter is very important in keeping them healthy all year round.
In this article, we will discuss the important things to look out for and how to make sure your dog stays warm, fit and healthy from now until the spring.
Keeping your dog warm
The icy winter air can be bitterly cold. Although dogs have fur to keep them warm, they also need an extra help in hand from us during the winter. Keeping your home (and your dog’s home) at a steady temperature will make winter easier for them to deal with. Keep your central heating on to warm your home, and light a fire if you have one. Dogs absolutely love lying in front of a cosy fire!
Watch out for fleas
Unfortunately, fleas thrive at this time of year. They especially like living in centrally heated homes – which the majority of us live in. To keep fleas at bay, regularly wash your dog’s bedding on a warm heat setting. As well as this, your dog should be up to date with their flea vaccinations. Keep a close eye on your dog, and whether they are scratching more often than usual. If you’re unsure about how or the best way to treat fleas, ask your vet.
Weigh your dog regularly
Carefully monitoring the weight of your dog is crucial over the winter months. Their coats will become thicker, and this can disguise possible weight loss. On the other hand, dogs tend to be less active throughout winter, meaning they will be burning less calories. Offer them less high calorie treats and try exercising them inside using balls and rope toys.
Keep paws clean
During winter, salt is sprinkled across roads and pavements to make them safer. This salt can make your dog’s paws sting when walking along the ground. Always rinse your dog’s paws with warm water after walks and dry them well with a soft towel. Trimming the hair around your dog’s paw will also prevent ice balls forming in snowy weather.
To recap, it is important to monitor your dog’s health and behaviour throughout the winter months. The cold weather can cause health issues for your dog, but looking after them correctly can reduce the risk of potential health issues arising. If you are worried about the health of your dog, seek professional advice from your local vet.