How to take care of your dogs during winterHere are some tips to make sure your pup does not get as sick as a dog.
Many dog owners feel that because dogs have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. But that’s a misconception, says Ramesh Bastakoti, veterinarian at Annapurna Vet Clinic.
“Like human beings, dogs also can easily suffer from cold and cough during winter. They should be given extra attention during the cold weather, especially those breeds who have less hair,” says Bastakoti.
The go-to idea of every pet owner is to keep their dogs indoors. But this measure is not enough, as they need extra care and protection during the winters. According to Bastakoti, the chilly weather can make the skin of the dogs dry and on extreme situations, they can even suffer from arthritis.
In the cold, your usually cheerful and overenthusiastic pet may not have the same energy, succumbing to wintery blues, but there’s no reason why they should be that way. Here are a few winter care tips you can follow to protect your faithful four-legged family member to keep them cheerful as the mercury drops.
Give them a cosy environment
Most pet owners are careless when it comes to providing a comfortable bed for their canine friends. But just because your pup can’t say it, doesn’t mean they don’t want to snuggle up like the rest of us. While the idea of having a dog sleep with you is going to be a personal decision, if you’re not so keen on it, you should at least provide them with cosy bedding to provide the warmth required for them to stay healthy.
But it doesn’t stop at the bed. Try to place the sleeping area or the bed of your pet away from cold spots like uncarpeted floors or even tiles. Arrange enough blankets to cover them up, and if possible, elevate the height of their sleeping area so they don’t feel the cold coming from the ground. Pawshow Nepal and Annapurna Vet Clinic Pet Shop are some stores where you can buy warm and colourful beds for your fur baby with the price ranging from Rs1,500 to 3,000.
Bastakoti says that keeping dogs in a warm bed with blankets is the safest way to protect them. One thing he warns against is the use of heaters, for the heat will affect their skin.
While the idea of a dog donning a sweater might seem odd, it’s really become normal these days—it’s not just the Legally Blonde chihuahua who should be afforded chic clothing. The extra layer will make a world of difference for your pup, protecting them from having direct contact with the cold and providing a layer of heat between their fur and the sweater. So, this winter do not selfishly buy warm clothes just for yourself. Make time and visit a pet store where you can buy warm clothes for your canines. Maybe you can even coordinate outfits with your fur baby.
One may find it amusing but the kind of care people need is very similar to the kind of care and attention their pets need. Just like we use a moisturiser to prevent dryness or cracking of the skin, your dog also needs the same. Get to a nearby pet store and grab some pet-friendly moisturiser and apply it on your pup’s paws, ears and tails to prevent the parts from cracking up.
You can even rub some coconut oil on your pet’s skin directly as the oil has lauric acid which can help in strengthening their immune system, according to petcare website SitStay. Bastakoti also suggests using coconut oil but not on a regular basis. Additionally, be sure to clean your canine’s feet regularly, to avoid build up of any nasty bits and pieces.
Keep them hydrated
Not only in winters, but in general, we human beings tend to overlook hydration. Because of this habit, we may also have a tendency to limit the amount of water we give our dogs. Since during the colder winter months, the humidity is low, dogs can easily become dehydrated. Make sure to fill water in your fur baby’s bowl frequently. Bastakoti recommends using lukewarm water.
Calculate their caloric intake
Dogs can’t get enough of their food, and they’re always up for a treat. But if you keep feeding them, especially on winters, then extra layers of fat can be added to their body, which on summers can trouble them. So calculate the amount of food you are providing to your pet.
What is equally important is to make sure they remain active, no matter how cold it is. If they’re home bodies and don’t want to venture outdoors, give them toys to play and remain active with.
If your dog is someone who runs all over the house and prefers to go out, then feed them with a diet that will provide them with enough energy. Similarly, if your pet is someone who is not that active, then don’t overfeed them. According to Bastakoti, it’s better if dogs are fed with liquid food during winter.