Winter is just about here. While some of our canine patients love the cold, others get chilly very easily. No matter what your dog’s opinion of winter is, he’ll need some extra TLC at this time of year. Here, a local Brampton, ON vet discusses keeping Fido happy, healthy and safe in the cold.
Brushing your furry friend will help get dead hair out of his coat, which will increase its effectiveness at keeping him insulated. Dogs with thin fur will need jackets or sweaters to keep them warm when temperatures drop. Just make sure that Fido’s things fit him well, and are not tight, hot, or restricting.
If your canine pal is a working dog, a nursing mama, a senior, or just on the thin side, he may need to eat a bit more when it’s cold. (We suspect he won’t mind.) Ask your vet for specific advice. Some dogs also benefit from taking supplements. For instance, if your pup has arthritis, fish oil and glucosamine may help his joints. You also want to make sure Fido’s water doesn’t get too cold.
Dogs’ paw pads are very delicate. Fido can get painful burns, scrapes, and abrasions by walking or running on snow, salt, sand, and ice. Keep your pooch on soft ground when you can. You can also protect his paws with paw balm or wax. Petroleum jelly will also work in a pinch.
When you walk Fido, be sure to wear boots or shoes with good tread. You don’t want to slip and fall! Also, keep in mind that snow can hide potential hazards, like broken glass. Pay attention to the terrain.
If you have a husky, your pooch may love running and playing outdoors. A Chihuahua, on the other hand, may spend most of winter snoozing. Keep Fido active by playing with him every day. You can play games like Fetch indoors, as long as you’re careful. Stair runs can also be effective.
Did you know that many older dogs suffer from arthritis? If your pup is one of them, he may benefit from some extra TLC. A warm, comfy bed is a definite must. Massages can also help. Ask your vet for specific advice.
As your local Brampton, ON veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!