Winter is already here. You have probably already prepared yourself for the hard winter weather, but did you the same for your dog. A lot of pet owners think that just because our dogs have big furs, snow and low temperatures can’t do them a thing, but they are hugely mistaken. Not all dogs are built for harsh winter conditions and they require an extra layer of protections, additional vitamins and much more.
That is why we have decided to put together this list of absolute dog necessities for the winter, so your furry friend doesn’t catch a cold and ends up taking shots at the veterinarian. Keep in mind that not every dog needs all of these items from our list. For example, if you own a husky then there is no need for a dog jacket.
Keep them fed and hydrated
In the winter dogs usually eat more because they spend more energy on maintaining their body heat. This is especially true for dogs that spend most of their time in your backyard. Now, leaving your dog outside is nothing outrageous, depending on the breed, they might be perfectly fine without any additional treatment. But what you absolutely need to do is to give them enough food and water.
Additionally, you will need to check on their water dish often because when the temperatures drop below 0 degrees, water will freeze. Also, keep the water in plastic containers. If you pour it into metal ones your dog’s tongue might stick to it in cold weather.
Make sure they have a dry shelter
To add to the previous paragraph, if your dog is left outside, then it is very important to build him a proper shelter. This includes a home that is lifted a few inches off the ground. The floor should be covered with straw so your dog doesn’t sleep on cold concrete. When it comes to dimensions keep in mind that your dog has to be able to sit and lay down comfortably, but if you build a bigger shelter than necessary your dog will have much harder time warming up himself.
Also, don’t forget that the shelter should be dry and without any draft. You can achieve this by placing a hard plastic cover at the entrance so no wind or snow comes in.
Buy winter accessories for your dog
Next up are high quality pet accessories for the winter. If you are planning on walking your dog after dark during the winter months, then reflective collars are essential. This will help drivers spot your dog in low-visibility conditions. You can also get previously mentioned dog jackets or coats. This is a must-have for all short-hair breeds because their fur is not meant for such low temperatures. Lastly, you can buy your dog a special heated bed and place it in their shelter or in your living room. This way you will be sure they are warm at any time of the day and night.
Protect their paws
The last tip on our list is about protecting your pet’s paws. A lot of salts and other chemicals are spilled on streets and passageways to melt down the snow. If you walk your dog daily and if your dog is not wearing protective shoes, you will need to clean their paws as soon as you get home. Dogs like to lick them clean and if some salt or chemicals are left on them they can get an irritation or even poisoning. Simply washing their paws each time you get back from the walk will be enough.
As you can see preparing your dog for the winter weather doesn’t take too much time. You will just need to pay extra attention to their food and water intake and make sure that they are warm and protected at all time. By following our tips you will avoid any unpleasant visits to the veterinarian.
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