Getting Your Dog Ready for Winter

Winter is on the way! As you pull out your winter clothing and get your home ready for the cold, don’t forget to take some steps to get Fido ready as well. In this article by a Shawnee, KS veterinarian, you’ll read some great tips on getting your canine pal ready for winter.

Diet

There is a myth that all dogs need to eat a bit more in winter, as they will burn extra calories keeping warm. This is only true for working dogs, hunting dogs, and outdoor dogs that are already at an ideal body weight. Overweight dogs should not have their calories increased for winter. Ask your vet if your pet is at an ideal weight.

Fido’s Furry Feet

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all hurt your furry pal’s feet, and can cause mild to severe irritation. Make sure to protect your pet’s paws! If Fido doesn’t care for wearing protective booties, be sure to check their pads regularly.

Bedding

Be sure to provide your furry buddy with a comfy bed to snuggle up in on those cold winter nights. Senior dogs and large breed pups will benefit from the extra support of an orthopedic bed. Dogs with thin fur or bone/joint issues, such as arthritis, may enjoy heated beds. Add blankets to make Fido nice and cozy.

Exercise

Walking your dog in summer can be very relaxing, but did you winter walks can be too. If your pet exercises every day, keep up the walks in the winter. You might invest in a dog sweater, but getting the trails to yourselves can be lots of fun. If you aren’t an outdoor walker in the winter, to keep your pup active and stop him from becoming a couch potato play fun games like fetch with him indoors.

Shelter

Your furry friend will be happier and healthier living indoors. If Fido does spend time outdoors, make sure he has a comfy, well-insulated doghouse, and keep him inside as much as possible on cold days. Never leave a dog outside for long periods of time.

Supplies

Night comes early in winter! Keep yourself and Fido safe after dark by using reflective leashes, collars, and clothing.

Clothes

Dogs with thin fur may need extra protection against the cold. Unless your pooch has very thick fur, he may benefit from a doggy sweater. Just don’t put Fido in anything tight or constricting.

Does your canine pal need shots (vaccinations) or a physical examination? We can help! Please contact us, your local Shawnee, KS vet clinic, anytime. Call Perimeter Veterinary Center at 913-742-8387.

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