Keeping your dog healthy in winter
Nobody likes to get up on a cold wintry morning – not even our pooches! We’d both rather be cuddled up in our beds under a warm blanket than brave the cold, windy, and dark conditions before work. And believe us, our pooches would thank us for that extended cuddle time or sleep in when it’s looking worse for wear outside. The thing is, pups thrive on exercise to keep them strong and healthy. We’re not talking about a quick, “round-the-block” toilet break, either. If your dog isn’t exercised regularly, it could lead to obesity, potentially causing health problems and expensive vet visits. Not to mention, some dogs are incredibly destructive without their regular long walks!
Here are a few tips to make walkies more enjoyable for both you and your dog in winter:
- Make walks a game. Take your pooch to the park, hide behind trees, pounce and play! This should get the blood pumping enough for the two of you to warm up. Just make sure you don’t slip on wet grass or concrete.
- Go running with your pup instead. Not only will you both burn more calories, you’ll be able to warm up faster.
- Head to the local dog park so your dog can run, chase and play with other dogs, heating him or her up.
- Purchase a ‘dog light’ from your local pet store. It’s a light that can be fixed to your dog, so if your pup is walking off lead you’ll be able to know where he is.
But my dog gets really cold! How do I keep him from catching a cold in the winter?
While we need to walk our dogs, the temperature does dip and winter can be mighty cold on our pups. Don’t let their coat fool you: dogs are just like us and feel the cold. Some dogs, like Huskies, are better equipped to deal with winter than say Greyhounds; however, all breeds feel the chill. Here are a few things to help your pup stay warm in winter:
- Invest in a doggy coat. While dog coats don’t protect the heat escaping from their paws, they can help keep Fido warm. There are also dog booties you can purchase for dogs to keep them extra snug! We suggest trying before you buy though, most dogs do hate having their paws covered.
- Remember to take the dog coat off when you come home. Leaving clothes on a dog for long periods of time are both uncomfortable and inappropriate for pooches!
- Buy a hot water bottle to heat up pup’s bed before sleep time
- Keep your pup indoors during a particularly cool day
- Make sure your dog is getting out and about on sunny winter days. It will help them maintain a regular dose of nature’s own Vitamin D!
- Maintain a regular feeding schedule, full of nutritionally dense, high quality dog food. Eating regularly will ensure their immune system is in good condition so they are healthy enough to stave off colds.
- Keep the fresh water flowing! Like us, puppers need to be well hydrated to keep colds away.