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Keep Your Dog Healthy During the Winter Season

By October 11, 2017Tips

Frigid temperatures and wet weather make it difficult for dogs to stay warm and safe, but you can still keep your lovable hound comfortable and cozy–even when the weather outside is frightful. Read on for tips on how to keep your precious pooch healthy during the cooler seasons.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside

To keep your dog healthy during the colder months, bring her into the house. Canines have a higher risk of getting frostbite. And they’re perfectly content to stay in the house in winter. Just make sure to take them on daily walks and give them plenty of exercise. If your dog stays outside a good amount of time, provide her with a shelter that keeps out rain, snow and drafts. The floor of the shelter should be several inches off the ground and layered with straw or cedar shavings. Don’t leave the doggie doorway open to the elements. Cover it with a thick plastic or some other type of waterproof covering.


Give Fido Extra Food

Add some more kibble to your pooch’s food bowl when the temperature plummets. Dogs burn more energy as they try to stay warm in the colder months. Providing them with extra food boosts their calories–something they need when it’s cold outside. And don’t let your dogs get dehydrated in winter. Give them plenty of water to keep hydrated and maintain their skin in good condition.

If you have an elderly pet, be sure they have a blanket in their bed and have an area they can bathe in the sunlight during the day.


Go Easy on the Baths

Now that we’ve mentioned keeping the skin in good condition, another way to do so is to bathe your dog less frequently when it’s cold outside. If you overdo the baths, Fido’s skin can get dry and flaky. But if it’s absolutely necessary for your pooch to have frequent baths in winter, consult your vet to suggest a good moisturizing dog shampoo.


Protect Your Pets from Chemicals

Keeping your dog warm and cozy isn’t the only way you should keep her healthy during the winter. After a walk outside, thoroughly wipe down your dog’s paws, belly and legs to remove dangerous chemicals they may have picked up during your stroll outside. Chemicals like antifreeze may taste sweet to dogs, but they are deadly as well. Coolant and other toxins on the ground can also poison your pooch.

Spending More Time in the House

Since your dog will spend more time in the house during winter, be vigilant about any potential hazards lurking in your home. For example, bored and inquisitive dogs may put small items in their mouth that can cause choking. Keep medications away from your pets. They may eat pills that can make them

sick or kill them. Don’t forget to keep cleaning products out of your dog’s reach too. Your dog may get sick and tired of being cooped up in the house.They may seek to escape. Make sure no one leaves any doors propped open. It just takes a moment for your dog to run out the door and end up getting lost. As a result, your dog could get frostbite or die from weather exposure.


Dog Flu

No one wants to get the flu, and neither does your dog. Dog or canine flu is a respiratory disease that is highly contagious among dogs. It’s caused by a Type A influenza virus. Some dogs don’t show symptoms of the dog flu. But other dogs suffer from a variety of symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, eye discharge and fever. They also demonstrate a lack of energy and reduced interest in food.

Dog flu spreads among dogs when they are housed together in shelters or kennels. If your dog tests positive for dog flu, the vet will advise you to keep your pooch well hydrated and comfortable. If the vet thinks there is a bacterial infection present as well, he or she will prescribe an antibiotic.

Want to keep Fido from catching the dog flu? Your vet can give your canine a vaccine to prevent the disease. Of course, try to keep your dog away from other dogs that are exhibiting symptoms of the dog flu.

The snow is falling, and you’re shivering with cold. Well, guess what? Your dog is probably cold too. So take steps to warm your dog up by keeping your dog inside, providing her with warm shelter and feeding her extra food. Wipe her down after walks outside to keep her from licking toxins and have her vaccinated for canine flu. If you follow these basic guidelines, your dog will remain happy and healthy during the long, cold winter months.

Jessica Brody

Ms. Jessica Brody created OurBestFriends to offer a place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals.