Looking after a dog is a full-time commitment whatever time of year it is. However, different seasons pose different challenges for your canine companion. Winter can be one of the toughest periods to get through with your pet, but thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to keep your pooch safe.
Check their toes
Even when it’s cold and snowy outside, walks are still essential for your dog. They need to keep active to ensure they don’t gain weight or struggle sleeping because of surplus energy reserves. However, after returning from these walks, it’s important to check between your pet’s toes. You want to look for clumps of snow or the salt and grit used to melt this stuff. The former can develop into ice balls and cause your dog pain, while the latter may cause internal issues if licked.
Dry them thoroughly after walks
If your dog gets wet on a walk, you probably dry them off when you get home. After all, you don’t want them shaking water on your furniture once they’re back inside, right? It’s particularly important to do this during winter when being wet in the cold weather can be problematic. Make sure to dry your dog thoroughly and ensure they have a warm, cozy bed to lie in after the walk. You may also wish to buy them a coat – both for walks and afterward – to keep them warm, dry, and safe.
Adjust their food intake
Although keeping active is essential during the winter, some dogs may be less willing to venture out into the cold than others. If they’re particularly reluctant, you shouldn’t force them to do something they’re not comfortable with. However, you’ll also need to make adjustments elsewhere to accommodate this. That means altering how much they eat, so they don’t gain too much weight through the winter. It also means scheduling more play sessions throughout the day, so your pet is still using up energy, even if they’re not going outside much.
Increase their visibility
Winter doesn’t just bring cold weather. It also brings snow, mist, and fog, all of which can affect visibility when out on a walk. If you can’t see too far into the distance when you’re out with your dog, don’t let them off their leash. If it’s clearer but still not perfect, then ensure that your dog will still be visible while they’re running around. Bright, noisy collars are ideal for this, especially if your pooch’s fur doesn’t stand out against a white backdrop. Collars that light up are also a good call, especially because of the lack of daylight hours in winter. If you can’t walk your pet until it’s dark out, visibility is essential.
When a dog’s life is in your hands, it’s easy to worry about their safety 24/7. However, winter coming around doesn’t mean you need to constantly be in panic mode for your pet. You just need to know where potential issues lie so you can make the necessary adjustments and precautions required to ensure the animal’s safety.